Stabbing in Halawa Isle's 12th homicide
A 55-year-old woman found fatally stabbed at her Halawa Heights home became the latest homicide victim in a rash of Honolulu killings since mid-April.
Her death pushed the number of killings to twice that reported at the same time last year. It was the 12th homicide on O'ahu, compared with six slayings through the end of May 2006, said police spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii.
"We are high, but we have been closing the cases," Fujii said, adding authorities have arrested 11 people in connection with the deaths, and 10 suspects have been charged.
Five people have been killed on O'ahu in the past month and a half.
Police arrested Carol K. Weidman, 25, at 2:45 a.m. yesterday on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the latest killing. Weidman listed her home address as 99-462 Pa'ihi St., where the older woman's body was found. The victim's name was not released last night.
The city medical examiner's office yesterday said the older woman died of manual strangulation and stab wounds to her neck and chest. The office said it had not established the dead woman's identity. Fujii did not confirm reports that Weidman was the victim's daughter but said both women lived at the house. He said Weidman has no prior criminal convictions in Hawai'i.
A man who lives at the home left the residence at about 7 p.m. Wednesday and returned shortly before 11:30 p.m., when he discovered the victim's body, Fujii said. Fujii said he had no reports of any prior arguments.
Police responded to a report of an unattended death but determined the case involved suspicious circumstances and opened a homicide investigation.
"The victim was found stabbed multiple times, and we have recovered three knives from the scene," Fujii said. "All three of the knives had some blood on it, but whether they were the weapons that were used to perpetrate the crime, we don't know."
Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department, said a city paramedic team was called to the home at 11:23 p.m. Wednesday and pronounced the woman dead at 12:10 a.m. yesterday.
A check of computer databases shows that Weidman lived at a Sacramento, Calif., address as recently as 2003.
A man who answered the phone at the address yesterday identified himself as Donald R. Weidman and said he was Carol K. Weidman's father.
He said his daughter lives in Hawai'i with his ex-wife, whom he declined to identify. Donald Weidman said that he had not been contacted by law enforcement officials in Hawai'i.
"I just can't believe that Carol could do something like that," Weidman said when told Carol Weidman had been arrested as a murder suspect.
Asked if his daughter had been having any problems of late, Weidman said: "Yes, severe mental problems."
Weidman then said he would not answer any more questions about his daughter or his former wife.
Neighbors of the victim said they knew little about the people who lived at the home and that they did not hear or see anything unusual Wednesday night. Maryanne Palmeira, whose parents live across the street, said the news was a shock. "This is very surprising. Nothing like this has ever happened in the neighborhood," she said.
Other area residents also expressed surprise. "It is shocking," said Angie Baptista, who lives down the street. "This is a very quiet area."
RASH OF KILLINGS
Fujii said the public is not in danger following the arrest of a suspect in the case.
"The best thing I can let the public know is we have arrested one suspect in (yesterday's) case, we are not looking for any other suspects at this time, and there is no reason to believe that the community is in danger because of this incident," he said.
The homicide is the latest in a series of high-profile cases beginning on April 12, when Masumi Watanabe, who was visiting from Japan, was reported missing on the North Shore. Her body has not been found but a man has been charged with her homicide.
Her slaying was followed by the May 14 murder of Benjamin Grajeda, who was shot to death after he was kidnapped from his Kane'ohe home. Two men have been charged in his murder.
Just five days later, Dillon Ching, 30, was shot once in the chest trying to stop a fight that had erupted near his North Shore home. The fight broke out between people who had been at Ching's family home and a party across the street at the beach called Log Cabin. A man has been charged in his death.
Karen Ertell, 51, was found strangled in her home May 25. A 15-year-old boy has been taken into custody in connection her killing.