A Nanakuli family still reeling from the loss of their son was dealt another blow Monday morning when they discovered someone had tampered with their makeshift memorial.
Memorabilia marked the site along Farrington Highway where Kaulana Werner, 19, died last month after being hit by a car.
His dad told KHON2 he started receiving calls from loved ones who noticed the memorial had gone missing.
“That’s when I came over and I looked and all his stuff was gone, his jerseys, helmets most of his friends and family put on the site,” said Werner’s father, Eddie Werner.
About 10 minutes later, family members found the belongings in bushes at Nanakuli Beach Park.
“It was in buckets and I just kind of looked down the tree and there it was. I just walked over there and grabbed it, put it in the truck and brought it back,” Eddie Werner said.
Kaulana Werner played football for Kamehameha Schools and graduated last year.
The family says he was going to school in Kansas, but came back and wanted to continue his education at University of Hawaii so he could look after his parents.
Eddie Werner says he hopes the family tragedy serves as a reminder to others.
“Every morning you get up and you tell (your children) you love them. You can carry on knowing if anything happened, at least you got a chance to tell them you love them,” he said. “I didn’t get that chance to tell him that day that I loved him (but) he knows. He knows.”
The woman accused of hitting him was arrested and released pending further investigation.