Police identify Jeannie Eliason as Lahaina fire victim; she died before birth of first grandchild

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Leila Torgerson with her mother Jeanne Eliason, who was identified as a victim of the Aug. 8 fire in Lahaina. Photo Courtesy: GoFundMe

Jeanne Eliason of Lahaina was excited to become a grandmother for the first time.

But the 57-year-old never got the chance to see her daughter, Leila Torgerson, give birth to a boy named Kaed. On Tuesday, the Maui Police Department identified Eliason as a victim of the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire.

In a GoFundMe, Leila, wrote before getting confirmation of her mother’s death but knowing that she hadn’t survived: “My heart hurts losing my mom being 9 months pregnant, knowing that she won’t be here to see him come into this world. I know she will be our guardian angel and watch over us and protect us.”


After getting the “dreaded knock on the door” by an officer with confirmation of Eliason’s death, Torgerson wrote: “You were an amazing mom, daughter, friend, mother in law, everything. Thank you for always being yourself. You would have been the best grandma to our little Kaed and when he gets older he will get to hear all the stories.” 🤍

The GoFundMe is trying to raise $15,000 for a celebration of life.

“I would like to hold a celebration of life for her to have family and friends come together, share stories, memories and just be together to honor the amazing woman she was,” Torgerson wrote.


Leila’s husband Mick Torgerson wrote:

“With a heavy heart, we got the visit from an officer at our home to inform us that the medical examiner has made positive identification of Jean. It was a long and hard two months of no closure. Our minds were wondering about what could have happened. We knew the outcome, but hearing the report the officer told us relieves our minds and now we can move forward towards a service for her.

“On a brighter note. Our baby boy Kaed was born on Oct. 1. He has been the light during this horrible time. He is so beautiful and perfect.”


Eliason is the 94th victim publicly identified out of the 98 known fatalities. Police say the remains of three other people also have been identified, but their names have not been released pending notification of their families.

This leaves only one more victim to be identified of the remains that were found during a thorough search of the approximately five-square-mile burn area of Lahaina.

But there still are nine people on the Maui Police Department’s latest “credible list,” released on Oct. 6, of unaccounted individuals following the fire. They are: Artur Babkov, Akili Shawn Bryant, Lydia Coloma, Paul Kasprysycki, Michael Misaka, Robert H. Owens, Dale Ann Richter, Lee Rogo and Elmer Lee Stevens.

Previously announced victims of the Maui wildfire disaster:

  • Michael Mahnensmith, 80, of Lahaina
  • Laurie Allen, 65, of Lahaina
  • Franklin Trejos, 68, of Lahaina
  • Allen John Constantino, 25, of Lahaina
  • Felimon Quijano, 61, of Lahaina
  • Luz Bernabe, 64, of Lahaina
  • Joel Villegas, 55, of Lahaina
  • Adela Villegas, 53, of Lahaina
  • Angelica Baclig, 31, of Lahaina
  • Junmark Quijano, 30, of Lahaina
  • Matsuyuki Osato, 83, of Lahaina
  • Michael Morinho, 61, of Lahaina
  • Ediomede Pavian Castillo, 35, of Lahaina
  • Alfred Rawlings, 84, of Lahaina
  • Maria Victoria Recolizado, 51, of Lahaina
  • Justin Recolizado, 11, of Lahaina
  • Terri Thomas, 62, of Lahaina
  • Kirk Carter, 44, of Lahaina
  • James Smith, 79, of Lahaina
  • Revelina Tomboc, 81, of Lahaina
  • Morris Kaita, 74, of Lahaina
  • Richard Kam, 88, of Lahaina
  • Linda Vaikeli, 69, of Lahaina
  • Rex Cole, 64, of Lahaina
  • Janet St. Clair, 75, Lahaina
  • Douglas Matsuda-Boucher, 65, Lahaina
  • Carole Hartley, 60, Lahaina
  • Michael Gordon, 68, Lahaina
  • Marilou Dias, 60, of Lahaina
  • June Anbe, 78, of Lahaina
  • Keyiro Fuentes, 14, of Lahaina
  • Maurice Buen, 79, of Lahaina
  • Buddy Carter, 85, of Lahaina
  • Bibiana “Bhing” Lutrania, 58, of Lahaina
  • Glenn Yoshino, 75, of Lahaina
  • Rafael Imperial, 63, of Lahaina
  • Floyd St Clair, 75, of Lahaina
  • Leticia Constantino, 56, of Lahaina
  • Louise Abihai, 97, of Lahaina
  • Nicholas Turbin, 71, of Lahaina
  • Anthony “Tony” Simpson, 43, of Lahaina
  • Glenda Yabes, 48, of Lahaina
  • John “Thumper” McCarthy, 74, of Lahaina
  • Tim Nakamoto, 69, of Lahaina
  • Leroy Wagner, 69, of Lahaina
  • Joseph Lara, 86, of Lahaina
  • Gwendolyn Puou, 83, of Lahaina
  • Edward Sato, 76, of Lahaina
  • Eugene Recolizado, 50, of Lahaina
  • Mark Kaminsky, 59, of Lahaina
  • David Nuesca Jr., 59, of Lahaina
  • Poomaikai Losano, 28, of Lahaina
  • Carolyn Ono, 73, of Lahaina
  • Pablo Pagdilao III, 75, Lahaina
  • Coleen Jones, 59, Lahaina
  • Roxanne Ibara-Hinau, 68, Lahaina
  • Rogelio Mabalot, 68, Lahaina
  • George Hall III, 67, Kahului
  • Todd Nakamura, 61, Lahaina
  • Bernard Portabes, 75, Lahaina
  • Tony Takafua, 7, Lahaina
  • Salote Tone, 39, Lahaina
  • Faaoso Tone, 70, Lahaina
  • Maluifonua Tone, 73, Lahaina
  • Bette Jo Dyckman, 73, Lahaina
  • Rebecca Rans, 57, Lahaina
  • Tau Ponali, 66, Lahaina
  • Valerie Kauffman, 78, Lahaina
  • Salvador Coloma, 77, Lahaina
  • Carlo Tobias, 54, Lahaina
  • Albert Kitaguchi, 62, of Lahaina
  • Lynn Manibog, 74, Lahaina
  • Clyde Wakida, 74, Lahaina
  • Todd Yamafuji, 68, Lahaina
  • Antonia Molina, 64, Lahaina
  • Freeman Tam Lung, 80, Lahaina
  • Theresa Cook, 72, California
  • Joseph Schilling, 67, Lahaina
  • Narciso Baylosis Jr., 67, Lahaina
  • Vanessa Baylosis, 67, Lahaina
  • Douglas Gloege, 59, Lahaina
  • Juan Deleon, 45, Lahaina
  • Conchita Sagudang, 75, Lahaina
  • Danilo Sagudang, 55, Lahaina
  • Rodolfo Rocutan, 76, Lahaina
  • Jonathan Somaoang, 76, Lahaina
  • Angelita Vasquez, 88, Lahaina
  • Donna Gomes, 71, Lahaina
  • Melva Benjamin, 71, Lahaina
  • Virginia Dofa, 90, Lahaina
  • Alfredo Galinato, 79, Lahaina
  • Robert Dyckman, 74, Lahaina
  • Buddy Jantoc, 79, Lahaina

“MPD and assisting partners have been working to ensure that proper protocols are followed while notifying the families of the victims involved. Our priority is to handle this situation with the utmost sensitivity and respect for those who are grieving,” police said.


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