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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 26, 2010

Deaths were murder, suicide


By Diana Leone
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

Police yesterday said they have determined that two people found dead Tuesday in a Lawa'i home died as a result of a murder-suicide, and that a gun was used.

Police yesterday said Clara Kaneshiro, 43, of Kapa'a, was one of the two victims. The other victim was identified Wednesday as Duane Bukoski, 38, of Lawa'i.

An autopsy conducted yesterday confirmed that the deaths were the result of a homicide and suicide. Gunshot injuries found on the victims were consistent with a homicide-suicide scenario, Kaua'i County said in a news release.

A gun was found at the scene that matched the caliber of the bullets recovered. The county did not say who fired the gun.

Kaneshiro's husband, Van Kaneshiro, declined comment yesterday.

Friends yesterday remembered Kaneshiro for her work as a community volunteer and at Kaua'i Community College.

"Clara was just a beautiful, beautiful soul a light and a gem for the island of Kaua'i not just for our church, but for the whole island, the whole community," said Matt Higa, senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship of Kaua'i.

Kaneshiro attended the Kapa'a church, where she was a volunteer, administrator, programmer for us, Higa said in a voice message left for The Advertiser yesterday.

"She was such a wonderful person, a gift from God," Higa said.

"Her and Van are just great, great people. Her husband is solid, strong and dedicated. We're just grieving with the family and their two children. Clara will be missed."

Darlene Kaui, who replaced Kaneshiro as an administrative assistant for the Small Business Development Center Network at Kaua'i Community College about four years ago, said those who knew Kaneshiro at the college were lamenting her death.

Kaui said she believed Kaneshiro worked at the college about 10 years and recalled her as "very bubbly. She had a great personality. She was a good person, always out in the community, doing good things for the community."

A worker at the radio station KUAI AM 720 confirmed that Kaneshiro had worked there as on-air personality "Sistah Clara" under a prior owner.

Evidence of some of Kaneshiro's community activity is found in Garden Island newspaper back issues. She was a contact for planning a Waimea High School Class of 1984 reunion last summer and was mistress of ceremonies for an island-wide high school cheerleading competition in 2004.

In a Sept. 3, 2004, article about the New Hope Christian Fellowship of Kaua'i, Kaneshiro was quoted as saying "They call it the 'hugging church' because everybody loves each other!"