Puna man arrested in death of woman, 21
The victim, a Safeway liquor manager, was an "acquaintance"
HILO » Big Island police arrested a 23-year-old Puna man yesterday for second-degree murder in connection with the death of a young woman they identified as an "acquaintance." No charges were immediately filed.
The suspect, who lives in Hawaiian Beaches, south of Hilo, was already in custody for violating a restraining order when he was arrested for the murder, police said. They did not say when he was arrested for the restraining order violation.
The woman was found Wednesday in the "Panaewa rain forest area," police said. The area is a large forest immediately south of Hilo where the only paved road is the narrow Stainback Highway.
The victim's name was not immediately released because she had not been positively identified, police said.
Friends identified her as a Daysha Aiona, 21, a liquor department manager at Safeway.
Police gave little information about the case and did not say how Aiona was killed. An autopsy was to be done today, they said.
Police gave Aiona's age as 20, but Rene Ahu, a liquor vendor who worked with Aiona, said she turned 21 several months ago. She would have to be at least that age to deal with liquor.
Aiona was promoted to the liquor management post from among four or five other applicants and was an excellent manager, Ahu said.
Before that, Aiona was in customer service, Ahu said. "She was real bubbly. You couldn't help like her," she said.
Safeway cashier Alana Gali said Aiona had worked at the store for more than three years. She was always friendly, always helpful to people, Gali said.
Ahu remembered Aiona working at the store when she was pregnant with her son Deyrey, now 2.
"Her son was everything to her," Gali said.
Gali didn't know much about Aiona's personal life, just that she had had a boyfriend but they weren't together any more.
The last time Gali saw her was Tuesday, when Aiona went home to go trick-or-treating with her son.