comscore Oahu grand jury indicts man with Asperger’s in death of autistic girlfriend | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Oahu grand jury indicts man with Asperger’s in death of autistic girlfriend

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Kaniala Avilla-Rapoza was arraigned, Monday, in District Court in connection with the death of 19-year-old Nelibeth Albert in Wahiawa. An Oahu grand jury has indicted the 21-year-old man with murder.

An Oahu grand jury has indicted a 21-year-old man with murder in connection with the death of his 19-year-old girlfriend in Wahiawa.

The jury returned an indictment Wednesday, charging Kaniala K. Avilla-Rapoza with second-degree murder. Police found the body of Nelibeth Albert at Wahiawa Freshwater State Recreation Area Friday covered by branches and leaves.

Avilla-Rapoza’s arraignment is set for Tuesday at Circuit Court. He remains in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Police said Avilla-Rapoza admitted he killed Albert by choking her, according to a court document. He led police down a trail at the Wahiawa Freshwater State Recreation Area to Albert’s body.

The court document said Avilla-Rapoza told police he met Albert at the park on May 15 and walked down the trail when he choked her with both hands.

Avilla-Rapoza and Albert had been dating for two months but had known one another since they were classmates at Leilehua High School.

Avilla-Rapoza has Asperger’s syndrome. Individuals with the disorder have impaired social and communication skills. Albert was autistic, according to her aunt.

Albert’s father reported her daughter missing on the night of May 16. The father’s girlfriend told police she last saw Albert at their Wahiawa apartment a day earlier when Albert told her she was going to a friend’s house.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (4)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up