Friday, September 24, 1999

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Leilani Casper keeps a binder of pictures and articles about
her daughter, Jubilee Lum. Lum apparently was strangled
and her body dumped in a trash bag.

Lure of street
life strong for
murder victim

'Maile' Lum's family thought
she had given up the streets until
she was found slain

By Jaymes K. Song


JUBILEE "Maile" Lum first roamed the streets of Chinatown at 13. The lure proved strong, and for almost nine years she couldn't keep away.

Her family thought she had given up her dangerous life when she stayed home and started taking adult continuing education classes in January.

But exactly one month ago, Lum's nude body was found inside a trash bag next to a Dumpster on Beretania Street.

Art She died of suffocation, and Lum's mother, Leilani Casper, said police told her she was strangled. Lum was four months pregnant.

"No matter what she did, we still love her," said Lum's younger sister, Harmony Matunding.

Police continue to search for a suspect and a van that was seen picking up Lum in Chinatown.

The family said capture of the suspect is the only thing that will bring closure.

"Whoever did that to her, he's still alive," said Lum's mother, Leilani Casper. "What I want to see happen is: the guy to pay for it.

"He should know she has a family. And people love her."

Lum got mixed up with the wrong people at a young age, said her mother. She would go back and forth from her home in Kalihi to hanging out at night on seedy downtown streets.

Although police believe Lum was involved in prostitution and drugs, Lum's family members said they weren't aware of what she was doing in downtown -- and that she was not homeless and had a loving family to come home to.

"I always told her to stay home and get off the streets," Casper said, crying and hugging a photo album containing pictures of Lum's funeral.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
After reminiscing about her murdered sister, Jubilee Lum,
15-year-old Harmony Matunding is comforted by her boyfriend,
David Hines, and her mother, Leilani Casper, at their apartment.
The family says the capture of Lum's killer is the only thing
that will bring closure to her death.

Lum's fiance, Ambrocio Lazaro, said his mind has been going "crazy" since her death.

Lazaro, who has known Lum for the past 10 years, would retrieve Lum from Chinatown. He said he encouraged her to stay home and hoped she would leave her street life.

The couple were planning on getting married Nov. 26, Lum's 22nd birthday.

"She treated me good," he said. "I love her a lot and she loved me too."

The family keeps a floral arrangement, Lum's urn and photo collage above the television in their cramped apartment.

Casper keeps a journal about her daughter nearby.

In one entry, she wrote: "Now she's in a better home resting. Looking down on us with her caring, loving heart."

And that "she was a little girl until this very day."

Casper hopes her daughter's death will prompt young women to stay off the streets.

"Look at what happened to Maile, don't end up like that," she said. "People out there are so cruel. All they think about is themselves."


The van last seen picking up Jubilee Lum in Chinatown is believed to be a white or light-colored Ford Econoline. The van was built between 1987 and 1990. It has swing-out side doors and windows on the passenger side.

If anyone has any information about the van, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

E-mail to City Desk

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