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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lana'i couple killed selves, police say

Advertiser Staff

Police believe two people whose bodies were discovered Saturday on Lana'i committed suicide.

John Kelly Etrata, 24, and Ariel Aki, 15, a student at Lana'i High & Elementary School, had a romantic relationship and left handwritten notes, according to Lt. Glenn Cuomo of the Maui Police Department. Crime scene evidence and statements the two made to others also point to suicide, he said.

Autopsies yesterday determined Etrata and Aki had been dead for several days.

Family members said the two had been seeing each other for about three months. After a complaint filed by Aki's guardian, Etrata was arrested July 16 on 14 counts of sexual assault, but he was not formally charged.

State law prohibits sex between a minor who is 14 or 15 years old and someone who is five years older than the minor. On July 18, the guardian obtained a temporary restraining order against Etrata to prevent him from contacting Aki.

The two were last seen Wednesday. Their bodies were found Saturday morning in a field about a half-mile from the Lana'i Police Station.