Kalihi woman’s parents haunted by murder as suspect captured in Waipahu

Jhun Ley Irorita

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 has been captured.

Jhun Ley Irorita was arrested just after 11 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, on Kahuahale Street in Waipahu. He was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and resisting arrest.

The 25-year-old is accused of killing Helen Prestosa, 39, a Kalihi woman who was last seen on the night of Nov. 19, 2015.

Police initially opened a missing persons case but after further investigation and new information, reclassified her case to murder.

Police say Irorita and the victim lived near each other in Kalihi.

Irorita has not been charged.

Jhun Ley Irorita
Jhun Ley Irorita

In an exclusive interview, Prestosa’s parents told KHON2 her body still has not been found, and they have so many questions as to why anyone would want to hurt their loving daughter.

Ted Prestosa showed us her bedroom, still immaculately clean even though she moved out years ago.

He said Prestosa was the youngest of nine siblings, but most of them don’t live in Hawaii.

Her parents said she always came by to have lunch once a week, and always helped them out.

“She’s always giving us help, paying our rent here. She’s giving us $300 every month,” Ted Prestosa said. “I cannot imagine how some people would try to get rid of her. I don’t know. That’s all I can say.”

“How come they did that to my daughter?” said her mother, Segundina Prestosa. “She is very nice and I’m crying again. Every time I go there in the room, I pray that they can find the one did it to her.”

Ted Prestosa told KHON2 he spoke to Prestosa a few days before she disappeared in November and didn’t sense anything wrong. Both parents say they don’t know Irorita, and police have not told them what, if any, connection there is between him and their daughter.

Helen Prestosa
Helen Prestosa

With Prestosa’s body still not found, her disappearance still haunts her mother in her dreams.

“I dream that somebody knocked the door, they pushed the door and they get in the apartment and then my daughter says ‘Hay anai,’ and I wake up and I’m so tired and I’m crying. I’m crying,” said Segundina Prestosa.

They also said Prestosa had been battling breast cancer, was in remission, and then found out that she had bone cancer.

Through all of that, she never complained to them about her problems. “She didn’t want us to worry. She was a very, very good lady,” Ted Prestosa said.

This is the family’s second tragedy in the past year. Their son died in May after having heart surgery.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this report incorrectly said Jhun Ley Irorita was arrested for attempted murder. Police confirmed he was arrested for murder, and this post has been corrected.

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