LIHUE — When Teresa Belmes-Allianic heard about police finding an unidentified body in Lihue early Saturday, she never imagined it would be her son.
“There’s no way that’s Gary,” she said to herself.
Later that evening, she turned on the news again and police still hadn’t publicly identified the body. Saturday night, Belmes-Allianic went to bed believing Gary Allen Allianic Jr. was alive.
But he wasn’t.
Allianic Jr.’s body was discovered near War Memorial Convention Hall around 4:45 a.m. Saturday. Police notified Allianic Jr.’s father, Gary Allianic Sr., but did not reach out to Belmes-Allianic, the mother said on Wednesday.
When Belmes-Allianic finally did find out, it was from her granddaughter’s – Allianic Jr.’s daughter, 22-year-old Mapuana — mother Sunday morning.
“Mapu’s mother came to find out if I was OK,” Belmes-Allianic said. “She was just terribly sorry that she was the one that had to tell me.”
Belmes-Allianic still hasn’t seen the body.
Kauai Police Department investigators believe Allianic, 38, died of injuries sustained in an assault. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled today.
KPD picked up Francisco Keola Manuel, 37, about 6 p.m. Saturday. On Tuesday, he was charged with murder in the second degree and assault. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. today. Bail is set at $1 million.
If given an opportunity, Belmes-Allianic would still see her son, even in the condition he is in now, she said.
She said police should have made more of an effort to contact her in the early hours of her son’s death.
“I gave birth to him. I counted his toes, his fingers,” Belmes-Allianic said. “I understand (the police’s) feelings, but they need to understand mine. I want to see what they did to my son.”
Police have been in contact with both Belmes-Allianic and Allianic Sr. and notified both families at different times, county spokeswoman Sara Blane said.
Belmes-Allianic said she has been in contact with KPD detectives and will get to see her son after the autopsy today. Per protocol, parents are allowed to view the the body post autopsy, according to Blane.
Belmes-Allianic said her first reaction after her granddaughter’s mother broke the news was concern for her granddaughter.
“If Mapu was OK,” she said.
But Mapu was devastated, Belmes-Allianic said.
“(I felt) helpless because I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I had to leave everything up to other people. Up to the coroners. Up to the investigators. It’s a helpless feeling for a mother.”
Family has been gathering at Allianic Sr.’s home to spend time with the younger man’s children, Mapuana, Kymani and Mysha, Belmes-Allianic said.
She said she is helping police as much as possible to get to bottom of her son’s death. She said police are working to put together a timeline on Allianic Jr.’s last hours between Friday and early Saturday.
“The only reason he went out at night was because someone called him and he needed to help someone,” she said.
Jasmine Duque — Manuel’s girlfriend — told The Garden Island in a previous interview that Manuel and Allianic Jr. got into a fight some time between 10 p.m. and midnight Friday night and at some point a knife came out and she was stabbed.
Manuel was also charged with second-degree assault for Duque’s injury.
Duque also said in a previous interview when she and Manuel left Allianic he was alive and had a cellphone and a backpack on him.
Belmes-Allianic said her son’s phone is still missing.
Allianic’s father said he remembers his son leaving the house around 1 a.m Saturday.
Today’s preliminary hearing in District Court is before Judge Trudy Senda.
If convicted, Manuel could face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
There are going to be a lot of people from both sides in that courtroom, Belmes-Allianic said, adding her son was well respected and had ties in the community.
“(Gary) was looked up to on this island,” she said. “He always made sure to look out for other people. … Everyone knew him. He had his faults, but he always helped others. ”
Michelle Iracheta, cops and courts reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com. Follow Michelle on Twitter @cephira