Tulsi Gabbard breaks silence on her aunt Caroline Sinaviana-Gabbard’s ‘horrific’ murder

Former US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard honored her late aunt, who was allegedly murdered by a protege and famed author in Samoa last month, saying the brutal killing has sent “shockwaves through our family.

“Thank you to all who have taken the time to send me warm messages of prayers and condolences in the wake of my aunt’s tragic murder in Samoa,” Gabbard said in a tribute posted to social media on Tuesday.

Caroline Sinaviana-Gabbard was found dead inside the home of award-winning Samoan author Papalii Sia Figiel in the village of Vaivase-Uta on May 25.

Figiel, 57, is accused of stabbing Sinaviana-Gabbard multiple times with a knife before bludgeoning the poet with a hammer during a violent dispute.

The two women were alone inside Figiel’s home which doubles as the community’s local theater named GaluMoana Theater, when the deadly confrontation took place, according to local reports.

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard honored her aunt, Caroline Sinaviana-Gabbard, who was murdered in Samoa last month. FOX News

“My aunt Caroline was my dad’s only sister, and the only relative of ours who lived in Hawaii when I was growing up,” the former congresswoman said in the post alongside a video collage of family photos as Tagata’s “Oute Alofa” played.

“I spent a lot of time with her as a kid at her cottage in the back of Manoa Valley where she often shared her poetry with me, and encouraged me to pursue my own writing,” she added.

Tulsi Gabbard, 43, was born in American Samoa before her family moved to Hawaii when she was just two years old.

When she was sworn in to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2013, she became the first Samoan-American to be a voting member of Congress.

Gabbard shared several family photos of her aunt on her Instagram account. Instagram/tulsigabbard
In 2013, Tulsi Gabbard sworn in to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, becoming the first Samoan-American to be a voting member of Congress. Instagram/tulsigabbard

Sinaviana-Gabbard, a poet and retired former professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, was the older sister of Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard, Tulsi’s father.

“Caroline was my best friend as a teenager,” Mike Gabbard said in a statement to Spectrum News. “I love her deeply and wish her well as she continues her journey.”

Sinavaiana-Gabbard taught creative writing at the University of Hawaii for nearly 20 years and was an associate professor of Pacific literature at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, according to Samoa News.

Tulsi Gabbard, one of several apparent contenders for Donald Trump’s next running mate, said her aunt’s “horrific death sent shockwaves” through her family.

Tulsi Gabbard said she spent a lot of time with her Aunt’s cottage in Manoa Valley when she was a kid. Getty Images

“The news of her horrific death sent shockwaves through our family. We miss her, cherish the happy memories we shared, and are keeping her in our prayers. Life is short. Hold close the ones you love, and make the most of every day we are blessed with life,” Gabbard concluded.

Following the alleged murder, Fiegel reportedly fled the scene to a friend’s house before she turned herself over to the police.

Samoan author Papalii Sia Figiel was charged with Sinaviana-Gabbard’s murder. read-nz.org

The celebrated Samoan author and prestigious playwright was initially charged with manslaughter but her charges were upgraded following a police investigation.

Local media reported that the women, who were both involved in the literary world, were close associates.

Sinavaiana-Gabbard was described in many reports as Figiel’s mentor.

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