By Wendy Osher
A Hawai’i Island man was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a young relative who had been left in his care.
Police arrested Ezekiel Wakinekona of Kameula on suspicion of abuse of a household member.
Authorities say the arrest stemmed from a report on Friday, January 13, of a 3-year-old girl who was found at home unconscious with labored breathing.
Doctors at North Hawaii Community Hospital also discovered suspicious bruising on the girl’s body, according to Hawai’i Island police.
The child, identified as Marley Makanani, was flown to the Kapiʻolani Hospital for Women and Children on Oahu, and later died on Sunday.
Two other girls, ages 2 and 6, who also lived at the home were taken into protective custody. State officials say the two girls are now in foster care.
A statement was released by the Department of Human Services following the incident saying, “Any death of a child is a tragedy.” The statement further indicates that an ongoing criminal investigation is underway.
Wakinekona was charged on Sunday with manslaughter for the death of the child, and two counts of abuse of a family/household member for injuries found on the children taken into protective custody.
Bail has been set at $60,000.