Singaporean woman killed at home in Hawaii

Ms Tara Irdawati Isnin is thought to have been killed by her husband, an American. He is being held at a Honolulu hospital, where he is recovering from wounds from an apparent suicide attempt. -- PHOTO: LINKEDIN PAGE OF TARA ISNIN
Ms Tara Irdawati Isnin is thought to have been killed by her husband, an American. He is being held at a Honolulu hospital, where he is recovering from wounds from an apparent suicide attempt. -- PHOTO: LINKEDIN PAGE OF TARA ISNIN

A Singaporean who moved to Hawaii in August and married her American boyfriend has been found shot dead at their home.

Mr Leo Chavez, 40, who serves in the US army, is believed to have killed Ms Tara Irdawati Isnin before turning the gun on himself in a botched suicide attempt.

The 33-year-old - who leaves behind a four-year-old daughter in Singapore from a previous marriage - was pronounced dead on arrival by paramedics at the couple's 19th floor apartment at Ala Wai Townhouse in Honolulu.

The incident was reported at 4.30am local time on Monday (10.30pm Singapore time).

Mr Chavez is being held under custody at a Honolulu hospital, where he is recovering from "serious wounds".

Ms Tara is survived by her mother, an elder brother and her daughter, who lives here with her Australian former husband.

She had been a corporate communications manager with real estate company Savills before she left Singapore for the US, according to her LinkedIn page.

One of her cousins, who declined to be named, said she met Mr Chavez in Singapore around a year ago while he was here on a sabbatical.

The cousin, a 35-year-old logistics coordinator, told The Straits Times: "They met because they shared similar interests in salsa dancing and liked to hang out at a bar in Clarke Quay called Cuba Libre to dance."

She described her late cousin as "confident, well-liked and very outgoing" and that the death had "come as a huge shock".

Ms Tara graduated with a mass communications degree from the Curtin University of Technology in 2006. Her elder brother is making arrangements to fly to Hawaii to repatriate the body.

The US Army Criminal Investigation Command visited the scene of the tragedy. A service-issued weapon is not believed to have been used.

When asked by Hawaii-based KITV News if the police were looking for suspects, Captain Lisa Mann from the Honolulu Police Department reportedly said: "No. We have the male at the hospital."

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said: "MFA is aware of the incident involving the Singaporean in Honolulu, Hawaii. We are in contact with the next-of-kin in Singapore and will provide consular assistance to them."

waltsim@sph.com.sg