Friends remember Oahu murder victim

Helen Prestosa

UPDATE 3/17/17: Jhun Ley Irorita was indicted by a grand jury for second-degree murder after skeletal remains found in April 2016 were identified as Prestosa. View the full update here.

A man suspected of killing a Kalihi woman was arrested late Monday night.

Jhun Ley Irorita, 25, was wanted for second-degree murder in the death of Helen Prestosa, 39. He was captured in Waipahu.

Prestosa was last seen on Nov. 19, 2015, at approximately 7 p.m. Police initially opened a missing persons case, but after new information and evidence, detectives reclassified her case to murder.

Irorita was positively identified as the suspect. Police said he and the victim lived near each other in Kalihi.

He has six prior convictions, including two counts of theft, but all are either misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors.

On Monday night, we spoke with some of Prestosa’s friends and former coworkers, who said she was a manager at the Jack in the Box at the corner of Kamehameha IV Road and School Street before moving to the restaurant on Kapiolani Boulevard.

“We’re so sad about what happened. We heard about what happened to her,” said Cora Castillo. “We were wondering where she went. Everybody’s like okay, that’s a big question mark with us.”

“Helen has always been nice to me. We were really close, so when I heard about it, I got a text from my friend saying, ‘Miss Helen didn’t show up for work,’ and I said, ‘What happened?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, we’re not sure. She just disappeared,'” said Chatto Marines. “We didn’t hear anything about it, so we were kind of like, it crushed me. So I haven’t been thinking about it because it hurts.”

Friends say they’ll remember Prestosa’s loud laugh the most. They say she was a hard worker, and a good boss.

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