Family struggles with killing
Marie Sana and her grieving family must scrape together what they can to bring the body of her 21-year-old brother home to Chuuk in Micronesia.
Sana's family and friends are puzzled as to why her brother, Bill P. Refilong, was fatally stabbed Dec. 1 at the Waimalu Shopping Center in front of Star Karaoke, not far from the apartment where he lived.
"I don't know why," Sana said yesterday about the attack. "Only thing we find out is he's gone."
The family was hit by two recent deaths and it has been financially difficult, she said. They turned to the Salvation Army for help when her brother was killed.
Bringing his body back home is in accordance with Chuukese custom, said Sana, the eldest of her siblings living in Hawaii.
Sana, 43, said Refilong was a "quiet boy" who worked hard to help support his struggling immigrant family by commercial fishing in Alaska, which he began shortly after graduating from Aiea High School.
Refilong arrived in Hawaii in 1998 to attend high school, where he participated in the ROTC program and diligently worked at McDonald's to help support the family, she said. Refilong also was active in the Salvation Army's youth programs.
Refilong had just returned from three months of fishing in Alaska on Nov. 18.
Donations may be sent and made out to the Salvation Army, 2950 Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, with a notation on the check, "Bill Refilong's family assistance."|
Sana said her family does not know the suspect, Frank Sanes, who was indicted by an Oahu grand jury yesterday in Refilong's slaying, nor the two men who allegedly were with Sanes during the stabbing.
Sanes, also known as Frank Tharry, was indicted with second-degree murder in Refilong's death. There have been no other arrests in the case.
Refilong was standing outside Star Karaoke in Waimalu Shopping Center early Dec. 1 when a car pulled up and three men emerged, one of whom attacked him with knives, according to police.
A witness said he saw a man swing a bolo knife with a 9-inch blade and two others with him were carrying a samurai sword and a kitchen knife.
A motive for the attack is unknown.
Sanes has no prior arrests in Hawaii, is employed and has a local address, said Deputy Prosecutor Stacy Suzuki. He is in custody unable to post bail, and is a danger to the witnesses, she said.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan affirmed bail at $250,000 and ordered Sanes to stay away or refrain from contacting any of the witnesses.
Autopsy reports show Refilong died of a stab wound to the neck.
Sana, a member of the Salvation Army volunteers, said transport of the body could cost as much as $5,000 and plane fare is $1,300 for any family member who accompanies the body.