An update on past news

Saturday, June 9, 2001

Orphaned boy’s trust
fund is still accepting

Question: What ever happened to the money collected for Etienne Yim, the young boy whose mother was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend earlier this year?

Answer: A trust fund for the 8-year-old boy, whose mother was stabbed to death, has collected $10,000 and will continue to accept donations until the youngster enters college, trust attorney John Razonable said.

Earlier plans were to get the money to Yim's uncle, who has been caring for him in France, by the end of 2002. But his uncle, Jean-Pierre Mortier, asked that the money be saved for Yim's college education.

Razonable said more than 500 people have given to the fund, with contributions coming from as far away as Wisconsin.

Now, he and others are deciding whether to set up the fund as a trust, as initially planned, or as a custodial account. "If it's set up as a trust, we were hoping we'd have more money than we've accumulated," Razonable said. It would take at least $25,000 to make a trust worthwhile, he said.

Yim's mother, Isabelle Yim-Mortier, was stabbed in her Waialae townhouse in March. His father had died of cancer three months earlier.

Yim, who was born in France, has been living in a hillside home outside Paris with his uncle, two young cousins and his uncle's new wife.

Yim's arrival in Paris was made more bittersweet by circumstance. His mother was buried there the day after he arrived. Her burial was followed the next day by his uncle's marriage. "It was a mix of happy and very bad," said Mortier, who was recently named Yim's permanent legal guardian.

But, he said, Yim is doing well and easily picking up French.

"He's a very smart boy," he said. "Just after one month of school, he knew how to speak French sentences. They say in three months he probably will speak French very well."

Those wishing to contribute to the Friends of Etienne Yim Trust Fund may make donations at any First Hawaiian Bank branch. Checks also can be sent to Simon Wilford at Merrill Lynch, Pauahi Tower, 28th Floor, 1001 Bishop St., Honolulu, HI 96813.

Contributions also can be made online at

This update was written by Lisa Asato, Star-Bulletin.

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