Arrests Made in Shooting Death of Former Big Island Resident
Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Big Island native and respected faculty member at a New York university.
Edline Chun, a professor for two decades in the School of Media Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was found dead in a ravine on Feb. 6.
Police last month accused a Rochester couple of robbing Chun and shooting her inside her home several days earlier, then dumping her body. The 28-year-old male suspect has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
His 26-year-old girlfriend has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
A third man, 24, was arrested earlier this month and charged with theft and using a forged check to allegedly withdraw $5,000 from Chun’s bank account several days after she died.
All three are Rochester residents.
Following her death, RIT Provost Jeremy Haefner described Chun, a 1957 graduate of Hilo High School, as a “well-respected and beloved” member of the faculty in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
“The entire Rochester Institute of Technology community is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Edline Chun,” Haefner said in a Feb. 8 statement. “Her colleagues in the School of Media Sciences describe her as someone who ‘always went above and beyond to serve the students and the school with passion, integrity and the utmost class.’”
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences Dean Lorraine Justice said Chun was active in many committees and organizations at the university and in the community.
“(She) will be deeply missed by her many colleagues, students and friends,” Justice said in a statement.
Ron Goldberg, director of alumni relations for the college, told ReporterOnline that Chun was “one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
“She was well-liked and it’s an absolute shock to everyone,” he said.
Chun taught professional and technical writing at the college.
A Hawaiian-style memorial service and farewell dance was held for Chun on March 5 at the university. A second memorial service was being planned in Hawaii in July.
According to Rochester television station YNN, Chun’s friends were also looking to establish a scholarship fund or memorial garden in her honor.