Sisters of Makiki murder victim speak out

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The family of the woman found murdered at her Punahou Street home spoke publicly for the first time.

Court records show that Mary Beth San Juan, 56, had given Vernon Baker, 41, a ride just days before she was killed.

Her sisters say she was just always willing to help, even those she barely knew.

“We know they were acquaintances and that’s all we really want to say. I don’t think there’s any close connection with them at all,” San Juan’s sister Ann Engebretson said.

“She was the person who would look a homeless person in the eye. She was the person who would help them. She was always kind to everyone,” San Juan’s sister Jill Myers said.

The driveway where her body was found is a growing memorial, now with the word “Love” spray painted across the wall. Family members say it’s only fitting.

“I think it’s beautiful really and it’s kind of a surprise, but Bethy loved as much as anybody knows how to love,” Engebretson said.

So as they prepare for her funeral service this weekend, they say San Juan should be remembered for all the positive energy she brought to those around her.

“Someone who is kind, who brightened a room just with her presence and who was always upbeat and positive and wanted everyone to do well and be successful,” Myers said.

And while losing their sister doesn’t make a lot of sense right now, they say they just can’t dwell on that.

“She would want us to remember her with love and with joy, not with sorrow and bitterness or anger. So that’s what we’re gonna try to do,” Engebretson said.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday at Nuuanu Memorial Park.

Her sisters say it will be a celebration of San Juan’s life.

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