Slain teen had fled from state custody
He escaped shortly before he was due to be released
The 18-year-old beating victim who died Monday after being in a coma for nearly three months had been reported missing by the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.
Alexander Saballa was paroled from HYCF last year to attend the Marimed Foundation's Kailana Residential Treatment Program for at-risk teens in Kaneohe, said Kaleve Tufono-Iosefa, facility administrator.
"He was at Kailana for almost a year, so he was doing fairly well," Tufono-Iosefa said.
He was about to graduate from the program and released from state custody on his 18th birthday on Sept. 1. On July 21, program administrators met with Saballa and his parents to discuss a transitional plan, Tufono-Iosefa said.
"They were ready to send him home, then he ran away," she said.
Two days later, just past midnight, Saballa and another male were picked up by ambulance in front of BK Superette in Nanakuli and taken to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition, said Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Services Department spokesman.
Saballa had multiple head injuries. Police were able to identify him and notify his parents because of the large "Saballa" tattoo on his back.
Following surgery, Saballa went into a coma and never regained consciousness. He was taken off life support Aug. 9 and died Monday.
The autopsy lists the cause of death as multiple organ failure due to complications of blunt force injuries of the head due to assault. Honolulu police have classified the case a homicide. As of yesterday the Honolulu medical examiner had not released Saballa's name because no family member had gone to the morgue to make visual identification.
According to his friends, they and Saballa were hanging out at BK Superette the night of July 22 when a group of unknown males arrived and beat them up, said Rebecca Medeiros, Saballa's aunt.
An ambulance was sent to BK Superette at 11:57 p.m. but left after finding no patient, Cheplic said. Sixteen minutes later police called for another ambulance. That was when the ambulance crew found Saballa and the other male.
Police said they have been unable to find witnesses to the beating. And Medeiros has been making a plea for witnesses to step forward.
Tufono-Iosefa said Saballa had been in and out of HYCF for parole violations. His initial offense was for criminal property damage, she said.