Silent march honors slain Kalihi woman


POSTED: Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Irene Rodrigues-Kaikana said she misses her younger sister, Iris, especially when she goes to work.

“;She used to come visit me after work,”; said the 20-year-old, whose 18-year-old sister was found strangled in Kalihi on Aug. 24.

Even co-workers miss her younger sister “;because she lights up the room”; when she would come to visit at Zippy's.

Irene Rodrigues-Kaikana had a simple message for the public: “;Help find my sister's killer.”;

Iris Rodrigues-Kaikana's four siblings—Irene; Ira, 15; Ikaika, 13; and Ilona, 12—were among about 300 who participated yesterday in a silent march around the state Capitol.

Many did not know the young woman, a resident of Mayor Wright Housing whose nude body was found between a fence and a wall behind Kamehameha Homes, but came out to show their support.

Police have not made any arrests.

Many brushed tears from their eyes as relatives spoke of the young woman.

“;I feel very sorry for her,”; said Preston Porlas, 17, who was visibly moved, saying he felt sad and hurt inside for the woman he never knew.

Others who knew her, like Victor Lim, owner of the Fort Street Mall McDonald's where she worked, spoke of her “;beautiful smile”; and “;cheerful eyes”; and the joy she brought to others.

A contingent of the police Explorers, a program for youths, and former members were also present.

Pfc. Ashley Aoki, 20, a National Guard member, was a major in the Explorers program when Rodrigues-Kaikana was a volunteer during her high school years.

“;She would always want to help others,”; Aoki said.

Another former Explorer, Linda Fong, 22, described her as fun, loving and “;very cheerful all the time.”;

Many had questions.

Friend Marcus Pettis, 17, who lives at Kamehameha Homes, said that when he heard the news, “;I was heartbroke. She was a nice person, that's why. Who would do that to a nice, pretty wahine like that?”;

Her cousin James Fritz, 43, asked, “;Is our world so unjust we have no morals? You're going to throw a person down like she's a piece of rubbish? She's someone's daughter, someone's family.”;

Bounty hunter Duane “;Dog”; Chapman is putting up $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Rodrigues-Kaikana, and urges anyone with leads to call police.

His wife, Beth, said that seeing the woman's tearful father, Steven Rodrigues, on TV news announce first a $500 reward, then $1,000, then $1,500 “;just broke our hearts.”;

“;I lost a daughter, too, and I know how much that hurts,”; Duane Chapman said in a media release.

Grant Cooper, Stephany Sofos and state Rep. John Mizuno have also offered $500 each as a reward.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.