Tulsi Gabbard Mourns Aunt’s ‘Horrific’ Murder in Emotional Tribute

Tulsi Gabbard Mourns Aunt's 'Horrific' Murder in Emotional Tribute
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For­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tul­si Gab­bard has bro­ken her silence on the trag­ic mur­der of her aunt, Car­o­line Sina­viana-Gab­bard, in Samoa last month. Gab­bard expressed her deep grief over the “hor­rif­ic death” that has “sent shock­waves through our family.”

Sina­viana-Gab­bard, a poet and retired pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawaii, was alleged­ly stabbed mul­ti­ple times and beat­en to death with a ham­mer by acclaimed Samoan author Papalii Sia Figiel inside Figiel’s home, which also served as a local the­ater. The two women were report­ed­ly close asso­ciates, with Sina­viana-Gab­bard being described as Figiel’s mentor.

In a heart­felt trib­ute post­ed on social media, Gab­bard shared mem­o­ries of the time she spent with her aunt while grow­ing up. She recalled Sina­viana-Gab­bard’s cot­tage in Manoa Val­ley, where she would often share her poet­ry and encour­age Gab­bard’s own writ­ing pursuits.

“My aunt Car­o­line was my dad’s only sis­ter, and the only rel­a­tive of ours who lived in Hawaii when I was grow­ing up,” Gab­bard wrote. “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.”

Gab­bard, who became the first Samoan-Amer­i­can vot­ing mem­ber of Con­gress when she was sworn in to rep­re­sent Hawai­i’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict in 2013, expressed her deep appre­ci­a­tion for the mem­o­ries and the last­ing impact her aunt had on her life.

The for­mer con­gress­woman, who has been rumored as a poten­tial run­ning mate for for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, said the “news of her hor­rif­ic death sent shock­waves through our fam­i­ly” and that they “miss her, cher­ish the hap­py mem­o­ries we shared, and are keep­ing her in our prayers.”

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