workers at diner
Former employee Cheng-Wen Kuan's
body was found in his burning car
Honolulu police are investigating the killing of a former Kaimuki restaurant worker after his body was found in a burning car on the North Shore last week.
Employees at Big City Diner on Waialae Avenue said homicide detectives questioned them this weekend about Cheng-Wen Kuan, 23, who most of them knew as "Alan."
Kuan's Honda Civic was found in flames at Army Beach in Mokuleia early Thursday morning, and a body was discovered lying across the front seat of the car with a bullet in the head.
The body was burned so badly that dental records were needed to confirm his identity.
"The fear is that we don't know where he is," said Big City Diner manager Kris Morimoto, "but we pretty much knew inside that it was him."
Morimoto said Kuan worked at the restaurant as a busboy from 2002 and left sometime last year as part of a "mutual" agreement with management because he was becoming unreliable.
"He was late ... things like that," Morimoto said.
Even though he stopped working at the diner a year ago, Morimoto said Kuan still kept in touch with several workers. Police said he was last seen by neighbors at his Moiliili apartment building on the 2700 block of South King Street the week he was killed.
"People saw him, but no one can say what day or what time," said homicide Lt. Bill Kato. "He lived alone in an apartment on King Street, and basically that's all that we have."
Kato said Kuan had a sister and perhaps an aunt living in Hawaii but that other family members were in Taiwan, where he was from originally.
Morimoto said that during his stint as a busboy at Big City Diner, she never recalled anything unusual about Kuan or whether he hung out with people outside of work.
"He was quiet," she said. "He just seemed so innocent ... almost naive."
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.