Tulsi Gabbard’s Family Member Allegedly Murdered By Writer

Tulsi Gabbard's Family Member Allegedly Murdered By Writer

(RepublicanView.org) – A family member of former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been murdered. Caroline Sinaviana-Gabbard, a 78-year-old retired University of Hawaii professor, died following a vicious attack on the Pacific Island of Samoa, in which she sustained several severe wounds. Police subsequently arrested 57-year-old Papalii Sia Figiel for the killing.

The incident reportedly unfolded at Figiel’s home, which is also a local theater. The pair allegedly had an argument that turned violent, but it is unclear what sparked it. Figiel, a published author, left her home after the murder and traveled to stay with a friend, to whom she did not mention the incident. The following day, she contacted the police and turned herself in.

Initially charged with manslaughter, Ms. Figiel took police to her home, and when they learned more about the violent nature of Gabbard’s death, they upgraded the charge to murder.

Both women are well-known and high-profile members of their communities and had been friends for some years. Ms. Sinaviana-Gabbard was the first Samoan to become a United States university professor and had written and taught extensively. Her brother, state Senator Mike Gabbard, said he followed in her footsteps and became an academic and teacher after she helped him through his “rebellious stage of adolescence.”

Mr. Gabbard said he forgives his sister’s alleged killer but hopes she is punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Papalii Sia Figiel is also an accomplished writer, and the two women reportedly mixed in the same literary social circles. A native Samoan, she attended university in New Zealand and Spokane, Washington, and won the Polynesian Literary Competition in 1994 for her poetry. Her novel “Where We Once Belonged” won the Best First Book award in the South East Asia/South Pacific Region of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1997.

Samoan Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo said the relationship between the women and the motive for the killing is still under investigation. Figiel is held in police custody awaiting trial.

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