Tulsi Gabbard’s aunt was allegedly beaten and stabbed to death by prominent author friend: Report

News & Politics

The Daily Mail reported that Tulsi Gabbard’s aunt was brutally beaten and stabbed to death. The culprit was allegedly the woman’s protege.

Caroline Sinaviana-Gabbard, 78, was discovered dead at the home of prominent Samoan author and playwright Papalii Sia Figiel, 57. The authorities said Sinaviana-Gabbard was killed last Saturday, and Figiel reportedly turned herself in the next day.

‘She helped me considerably during my rebellious stage of adolescence. She got me hooked on reading.’

The report mentioned that the two were close friends who got into an argument before the 78-year-old was brutally killed. However, it is not known what sparked the dispute. Figiel reportedly used a hammer and knife to kill the victim, according to the report. Both of the weapons were found at the scene of the crime.

“It wasn’t until Sunday morning while they were having breakfast that [Figiel] told her friend what had happened,” Auapaau Logoitino Filipo, Samoan Police Commissioner, said.

When Figiel turned herself in, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter. The charge was soon upgraded to murder after more evidence was gathered by the authorities.

The victim’s brother, Tulsi Gabbard’s father Mike Gabbard, mourned the death of his “best friend,” per the report. Mike is currently a state senator for Hawaii.

“She helped me considerably during my rebellious stage of adolescence. She got me hooked on reading, so much so that I followed in her footsteps and majored in English at Sonoma State University in California, then returned to our birthplace, American Samoa, where I taught English in high schools and was a faculty member, guidance counselor and dean at the community college for many years,” Mike said, according to the New York Post.

“I love her deeply and wish her well as she continues her journey.”

Figiel’s work has been published widely in New Zealand, and she won the Best First Book award in the South East Asia/South Pacific region of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1997.

After her arrest, Figiel was transferred from Tanumalala Prison to the National Hospital in Motootua to be placed on full-time suicide watch. She is expected to appear in court on June 10.

In April, Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party in 2022, revealed that she had turned down an offer to be Robert F. Kennedy’s running mate. However, there has been speculation about whether she might try to become Trump’s running mate in the 2024 presidential election.

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