Honolulu police were called to a neighborhood in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu Thursday night when a neighbor heard someone yelling for help. Police arrived to find 36-year-old Moku “barely alive,” KITV reports. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police later arrested her 15-year-old son in connection to her death, which has been classified as a homicide.
Neighbors and family members told KITV that Moku, a small business owner and single mother of five, loved her kids very much. "Her kids always came first," said Gwen Kailihiwa, her aunt. "They always had what she could give -- most of all, her love."
Neighbors say they heard an argument at Moku's home on the night of her death, but it was unclear if it involved Moku and her son. There were no other adults at home at the time Moku was attacked, but there was a small child in the house, reports Hawaii News Now. Moku's children ranged in age from toddler to college.
Kailihiwa told local news reporters that the family still loves and supports the accused boy. “That’s our great grand-nephew," she said. "We still gotta love him. We still gotta reach out. She would want us to do that for him. Not go against him. ...His whole entire family love him. We love you, boy, wherever you at. If we could speak to you, just through media, boy, we hope that we can impact you and let you know that we’re still here.”
The son is being held at the Kapolei Detention Home on Oahu while investigators build their case.
Correction: An earlier version of this article described Gwen Kailihiwa as Shannell Moku's sister. She is her aunt.