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Victim in Waikiki fatal shooting was newlywed, friends say

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 12:03 p.m. HST, Oct 31, 2013

The Medical Examiner's office said the 33-year-old woman who was killed in her Waikiki condominium Monday died of cranial cerebral injuries caused by multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

The identity of the woman, who police said was killed in an apparent murder and attempted suicide, is still pending, the Medical Examiner's office said.

However, XINMSN news service and a Chinese newspaper reported that the victim is Tara Irdawati Isnin, who moved to Hawaii from Singapore with her newlywed husband, Leo Chavez, 40. The Consulate General in San Francisco also confirmed that the victim is Isnin.

According to Chinese evening paper Shin Min Daily News, the murder may have been triggered after the woman had asked for a divorce.

The Chinese newspaper reported that the 19th-floor crime scene was gruesome, with blood splattered along the hallway, living room and bedroom. Isnin's body was found on the sofa with multiple bruises.

Isnin was a corporate communications manager with real estate company Savills, the newspaper reported.

Isnin's friends said the couple married in Hawaii in early August after a relationship that was only about a year long.

After the wedding, Isnin returned to Singapore briefly to prepare for her permanent move to Hawaii.

Her friends told the newspaper that Isnin was contemplating divorce even before she returned to Hawaii, and they speculated that this may have led to her death.

Shin Min Daily News said Isnin's brother is preparing to fly in to Hawaii to claim her body.

Friends told the newspaper that on Saturday Isnin said she was at her "wits end" and had planned to return back to Singapore Nov. 5 because she was not able to tolerate being with her husband.

One friend told the newspaper that although Isnin appeared to be happy in the numerous pictures she posted online, her friend wondered if she was truly happy, but decided not pursue the issue because the victim was a naturally optimistic person who believed that "love conquers all."

The friend described Chavez as possessive, demanding that his wife report her every move to him.

Isnin had a 4-year-old child from a previous marriage with an Australian man whom she married in 2006, the Chinese paper reported. The daughter is living with her father in Singapore.

Police Capt. Lisa Mann has said there are no other suspects in the apparent murder-and-attempted-suicide case.

City Emergency Medical Services personnel said the couple both had gunshot wounds.

Paramedics took the man to the Queen's Medical Center from the 100-unit Ala Wai Townhouse condominium at 2421 Ala Wai Blvd. after being called to the building about 4:25 a.m. Monday.

Police said the injured male remains hospitalized and no charges have been filed.

Two Army criminal investigators also were called to the scene Monday. One of them said they were there because the man involved was believed to be a soldier.

An Army spokeswoman at Schofield Barracks referred all questions to the Army Criminal Investigation Command in Arlington, Va., which declined to comment, except to say that is was working with Honolulu detectives. An Army investigator at the crime scene said he didn't believe the suspect used a service handgun.

A friend of the woman, who declined to be named, told the XINMSN news service that Isnin intended to move her daughter over after she "settled down" in Honolulu.

The victim and her husband lived alone in the Hawaii apartment, the news service reported.

Police said they are investigating reports of gunshots that were heard in the area prior to being called to the scene early Monday. Ala Wai canal residents said they heard gunshots a few days before Monday.

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