Samoan Author Charged in Murder of Prominent Poet Linked to US Congresswoman

A Samoan author, Papalii Sia Figiel, has been charged with the murder of prominent poet Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard. Sinavaiana-Gabbard, the aunt of former US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, was a significant figure in the Pacific literary community. Figiel is in custody, awaiting a court appearance next week.


PTI | Wellington | Updated: 07-06-2024 15:55 IST | Created: 07-06-2024 15:55 IST
Samoan Author Charged in Murder of Prominent Poet Linked to US Congresswoman

In a shocking turn of events, a Samoan author, Papalii Sia Figiel, aged 57, has been charged with the murder of Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabbard, a prominent poet and the aunt of former US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, authorities confirmed. The incident allegedly stemmed from an argument last month and has sent ripples through the Pacific literary community.

Sinavaiana-Gabbard, 78, was well-regarded for her contributions to literature and education, having been the first person of Samoan descent to become a full professor at a US university in 2013. The body was discovered at Figiel's residence in Apia, Samoa's capital, two days after Figiel reported the death to the police. Figiel remains in custody and has not yet entered a plea.

The case has garnered international attention, especially from the US where Tulsi Gabbard expressed her devastation on social media, remembering her aunt's influence on her writing. Meanwhile, officials are awaiting the arrival of a forensic pathologist from Fiji to determine the exact cause of death. The shocking incident has not only affected the families involved but also the wider community, who mourn the loss of a literary icon.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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