By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
The maternal grandfather of a slain 32-year-old Mountain View man’s three children called his death a “stunning and staggering loss.”
Dr. Larry and Lucia Samuels said Thursday that they have remained close to Rory Thompson Wick, although his relationship with their daughter, Maya, ended three years ago. The couple had a son and two daughters between the ages of five and eight.
“He and I were in a very closely bonded relationship. I called him son and he called me dad,” Larry Samuels said. “… Indeed, Rory was closer to me than my own children in some respects because we shared thoughts and feelings and dreams. And that’s why my grief is all the deeper.”
“Our daughter met him as he was an art major at (University of Hawaii at Hilo),” Lucia Samuels added. “They quickly got involved in a relationship. … He has a strong artistic nature. He was involved in training for Waldorf education, so his children are at Malamalama Waldorf. He was a substitute teacher and worked as a teacher’s aide in the kinder hale. And he was training to be a full-fledged teacher but that’s kind of a prolonged process.”
Wick was stabbed to death Tuesday afternoon at his Pilo Street home in Mountain View. David True Seal, a 34-year-old man who escaped from Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe, Oahu, on Dec. 3, 2009 and had remained at large since then, was charged at 3:05 p.m. Thursday with second-degree murder. He is being held without bail at the Hilo police cellblock and will make his initial court appearance today.
An autopsy is also scheduled for today to determine the exact cause of Wick’s death.
Police Lt. Greg Esteban of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section said that Seal lived in another structure on the same Eden Roc subdivision property as Wick. He said that Seal, who was acquitted by reason of insanity in 2002 on Maui for the kidnapping and attempted rape of an 8-year-old girl, told investigators that he went to Hana High School on Maui. Wick’s Facebook page states that he graduated from Hana High in 1999.
Multiple sources, all of whom declined to go on the record, told the Tribune-Herald that Wick and Seal — who they said went by the name “True” — are cousins, but the Tribune-Herald was unable to confirm that with either family or police.
Larry Samuels said he didn’t know Seal. He added that the last time he saw Wick was Monday afternoon.
“We picked up the children and went down to Pohoiki and then returned them to his home,” he said.
The Samuels say Wick’s children were not at home when the stabbing occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. Lucia Samuels said they and Wick’s mother will be “working out plans for their day-to-day care and getting them back to school.” The children’s mother is on the mainland, they said, and Wick was their primary caretaker.
“Rory was the most dedicated and effective single parent I have ever encountered, certainly for a man, and totally irreplaceable in that regard,” Larry Samuels said. “Our struggle now is to carry on with the children and help them adjust.”
Police executed a search warrant on the Pilo Street property on Wednesday, and a police log on Thursday indicated that investigations were opened into first- and second-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, promotion of a harmful drug and drug paraphernalia.
Capt. Robert Wagner said that officers found “more than 100 plants” on the property as well as processed marijuana and marijuana by-products such as hash oil.
Esteban said that no charges will be filed for the drugs or paraphernalia.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.