MAKAHA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Family, friends and community members gathered on Monday, April 25 in Makaha to remember Michelle McPeek.
She was the victim of a brutal beating on Farrington Highway near Upena Street on Tuesday, April 19.
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Singing, laughing, tears of joy, tears of sorrow. That was the scene in Makaha at both Keaau Beach Park as well as along Farrington Highway as the community, friends, and family members gathered to celebrate her.
“It means a lot, she would’ve loved this,” said Michelle McPeek’s friend of 15 years, Kuulei.
McPeek’s boyfriend said he’ll miss her big heart.
“That was my angel,” Quinton, McPeek’s boyfriend said. “That was my guardian angel.”
The ceremony moved to Keaau Beach Park where lei were placed in the ocean at sunset.
Kuulei said she was thinking of Michelle’s love for her seven children.
“Her always having a beautiful smile on her face and always having compassion in her heart for anything,” said Kuulei. “Didn’t matter what it was. She always was happy. She loved going to the beach. She loved doing family oriented things.”
People at the vigil also thought of Joshua McPeek, who made his first appearance in court on Friday, April 22 in connection with his mom’s murder.
Area politicians Sen. Maile Shimabukuro and Rep. Cedric Gates spoke at the vigil. They said the state has $20 million in the budget for in community youth services and $14 million for Youth Challenge Academy.
“There is hope,” said Shimabukuro. “We’re coming together, and we want to help to heal this ohana as well as Joshua as well.”
At about 7 p.m. people came down to Keaau Beach Park to give lei to the ocean, and say a prayer. These are things they said she would’ve loved.
They were eating food, and enjoying each other’s company which are also things they said she would’ve loved to do.
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He is in police custody. His bail is $1 million. His next court date is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26.