Murder in Paradise?

San Jose woman dead after fall from Hawaii hotel

By Jessica Greene and George Kiryama
|  Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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San Jose Woman Dies in Fall from Hawaii Hotel

NBC Bay Area

Karen Celaya fell from the second floor of the Royal Kona Hotel over the weekend. Her body was discovered on the rocks of Kailua Bay below the oceanfront resort late Saturday night.

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San Jose Woman Dies in Fall from Hawaii Hotel

Karen Celaya fell from a hotel window on the Big Island and now her boyfriend, also from San Jose, is suspected of homicide.
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A mystery death in Hawaii has police in the Bay Area and on the Big Island puzzled.

Karen Celaya fell from the second floor of the Royal Kona Hotel over the weekend. Her body was discovered on the rocks of Kailua Bay below the oceanfront resort late Saturday night. Her boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of homicide.

Hotel guests told security officers they heard a heated argument coming from the room where the couple was staying before the mother of two fell to her death. Police are hoping anyone who saw or heard anything on Saturday night will contact them and help them put together the pieces of the mystery.

Police on the Big Island of Hawaii arrested 58-year old San Jose resident William Brill but he was released Monday night. Celaya's family in San Jose is devastated, in deep pain and wondering why and how this all happened.

"It's quite a shock." Bill Seward, Celaya's sister said. "It's still quite a shock that I'm not going to be talking to my sister again. I talk to her on a daily basis, it still hasn't hit me."

Celaya's family and friends say she and Brill had an on-again, off-again relationship over the last four years and at one point, were even planning to get married. Her best friend, Rozalyn Mendence was familiar with the rocky relationship.

"There were problems before they went and we tried to talk her out of going," Mendance said.

Celaya worked for AT&T in San Jose for more than 35 years and was very close to her two adult children.

Brill is a business rep for the IBEW Local 1245 -- a union representing utility workers. Celaya's family also told us he has served on the city of San Jose Civil Service Commission.

An autopsy on Celaya's body will determine her cause of death.

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