8 members of a single Filipino family died in Maui wildfires
From left: Survivor Kevin Baclig is shown with four of the victims, including his wife Angelica Quijano Baclig, Joel Villegas, Adela Villegas, and Junmark Quijano | Photo from GoFundMe
Eight members of a single Filipino family were confirmed dead and one is still missing since the Aug. 8 Lahaina, Maui wildfires.
The Maui Police Department on Tuesday identified six of the victims as Felimon Quijano, 61; Luz Bernabe, 64; Joel Villegas, 55; Adela Villegas, 53; Angelica Baclig, 31; and Junmark Quijano, 30.
The other two family members Salvador Coloma, 77, and Glenda Yabes, 48, had been identified previously. The ninth, Lydia Coloma, is still on the FBI’s official list of the missing, according to a Civil Beat report.
Some 5,100 Filipinos resided in Lahaina, 40 percent of the town’s population. So far, eight Filipino citizens have been confirmed among the fire victims and 17 others had ties to the country, Emil Fernandez, Hawaii’s consul general for the Philippines, told Madeleine List of Civil Beat. Some of the 17 were recently naturalized US citizens, he wrote. Fernandez didn’t provide names.
A GoFundMe page organized by Oliva Coloma described Lydia and Salvador Coloma as her parents; Luz Bernabe, Felimon Quijano, Adela Villegas, and Joel Villegas as aunts and uncles; and Glenda Yabes, Junmark Quijano, and Angelica Quijano as cousins.
She also said that on Sept. 20, DNA for seven of the family members was still in the process of being sent from the Philippines to the FBI and Maui Police Department to help with identification.
Alana Pico, spokeswoman for the Maui Police Department, wrote in an email that she could not comment on specific cases, but said Dr. Jeremy Stuelpnagel, a pathologist with Maui County, has discussed the complexities of performing autopsies and positively identifying those who died in the fires.
Stuelpnagel said during a press conference on Sept. 15 that many remains were extremely fragmented and some were commingled with others. That day, the official death toll dropped from 115 to 97.