New clues reopen 16-year-old murder case
Steve Skinner remembers there were few clues when his 81-year-old mother was found strangled in her seventh-floor apartment in Waikiki in 1989.
Now, 16 years later, Honolulu police told Skinner they have new evidence and have reopened the case.
"I forget which show I was watching, but it was about solving a case with DNA and I thought, 'I wonder if HPD is doing that yet.'" Skinner said. "Then the detective called me, and I got a message on my voice mail.
"It was like a relief that something was going to be tried, attempted to fix this, and I appreciate HPD doing this, I really do."
Police declined to say what new evidence has been uncovered.
Edith Skinner's body was found in her apartment in the state-owned Makua Alii high-rise building for senior citizens on July 25, 1989. Police said Skinner was strangled, and witnesses said they saw an unidentified man leaving her unit at about 5 a.m. that day.
Skinner's son was working in California when he got the news.
"I had just come home from work, and my friend called me and basically said, 'Something happened to your mom; you need to get home,'" said Steve Skinner, now a financial consultant in Arizona.
"It was like the floor fell out from underneath me."
Skinner said that according to some of her mother's friends, she had missed breakfast that morning, which caused some concern. The resident manager went to her unit to check and found her body.
Skinner remembers arriving in Hawaii to take care of his mother's funeral arrangements and trying to find out what happened to her at the same time. He said besides his mother's body and the unknown suspect, there were few clues.
"Back then, they (police) didn't have a lot available to them," he said. "I was told by the detective that there were very few leads.
"They were going by what the word on the street was, what criminals imprisoned on Oahu were saying about who did it. ... It was all very frustrating."
Police said people with information should call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or dial *CRIME on a cellular phone.