The uncle of two Hawaiian children, John Hoffman, 5, and Clara Hoffman, 7, who were both killed by their father, John Ali Hoffman, 49, was saddled with the traumatic task of identifying their bodies Tuesday, Business Insider is reporting.
Police Capt. Robert Wagner said there were little dental records available for the older child and none for the younger child, making it mandatory for their uncle to identify their bodies even though it would be a harrowing experience for him.
John Ali Hoffman is being held on a $2.75 million bail for killing his children and is also accused of murdering his wife, whose fingerprints authorities used to identify her as Aracely Hoffman. The couple was married in 2008.
Hawaiian man accused of killing his family launches into bizarre courtroom rant: John Hoffman (pictured) of H… https://t.co/sScR5Wdouu
— Ikem Emmanuel (@Imarnoel_94) May 11, 2016
John Hoffman had placed a phone call to police a little after midnight on Friday, saying up to four intruders had broken into his home and killed his wife. Police officers who arrived at the Hoffman residence around 1:30 a.m. said they saw Hoffman driving away in a vehicle without his headlights on.
When he was pulled over, police said they saw a handgun in the front seat and plenty of blood dripping from the trunk. Upon opening the trunk, his wife, Aracely Hoffman, was found dead from a gunshot wound. The children were found dead inside the house, both of them from gunshot wounds to their heads.
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A preliminary hearing has been scheduled June 14 to deliberate on the findings of doctors assigned to assess the state of Hoffman’s mental health. He has been charged with first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder as well as wrongfully carrying and using a firearm. The first-degree murder charge carries a compulsory sentence of life imprisonment, whereas the second-degree murder charge, upon conviction, carries a compulsory sentence of life imprisonment with possibility of parole.
Hoffman’s sister-in-law, Marie Hoffman, was stunned when she heard that her brother-in-law had murdered his whole family.
“That don’t sound right…he was a kind man who took care of people, especially children…he’s stern, but he’s cool,” she said. But Hoffman had been ranting on social media under the moniker “Snofru Ali” and in a Facebook video he posted recently; he had been talking about property ownership.
Investigations revealed that he was sued over four years ago for a property he had bought and stopped making payments on. The presiding judge had ruled no documents or motions could be filed in the case, a move that ensured victory for the plaintiffs, Saron Magan and Bhupen Magan Ttee. Court records indicated that Hoffman refused to vacate the property and was arrested for trespassing in 2015.
A neighbor said he consistently heard arguments emanating from the house. Tim Mullins, speaking to a newspaper reporter, said “I do know they were not a happy couple over there. They would argue and fight and I would hear it from time to time. But before it got too bad, it would quiet out,” he said.
Aracely Hoffman, originally from El Salvador, immigrated to Hawaii in search of a better life with her brother. According to Rose Bautista, an attorney who helped sort out her immigration issues, Aracely went to a Catholic Church, but was forbidden by her husband to baptize the kids. Bautista said she met the couple shortly before they got married and noticed that Hoffman was always angry at everything. But she never once saw him direct that anger at his wife or children.
Bautista said Aracely was a quiet woman and kept plenty of things close to her chest, but described her as a caring mother who was patient with the special needs of her son.
“The thing with her, no matter what her situation was at home — which you just knew wasn’t the happiest, was that she always smiled…she was always smiling…but you could see it was a painful smile.”
[Image via Shutterstock/BestGreenScreen]