Family of late Charlene Malepeai Mamea raises more than $9,700 for her burial, thanks Unalaska’s first responders and community members
The family of the late Charlene Malepeai Mamea has fundraised more than $9,700 for her burial expenses.
Malepeai Mamea’s remains were found last week in Unalaska Lake. The State Medical Examiner’s Office, in Anchorage, is now working to determine the cause of her death.
Malepeai Mamea’s family launched an online fundraiser about five days ago, and as of Tuesday morning, more than 75 donors had contributed.
The family’s goal is to raise $10,000. They say the money will help transport Malepeai Mamea’s body to Seattle and lay her to rest there.
“We mourn for our beloved Charlene and rejoice together that she’s found,” wrote her sister Pua Faailoga in a statement shared with KUCB on behalf of the family.
“Mamea and Malepeai family would like to thank: Community of Unalaska, Unalaska Fire Dept, Unalaska Police Dept, Coast Guard, Pastors, Elders, Volunteers, Families and Friends for your time and effort to bring closure within our family. We are forever grateful!” the statement said.
“The weather has been horrible … but it never stopped you guys from going out in the cold weather to help locate Charlene. It takes a village - Unalaska, you are that village - you have shown it to us that Charlene (our child) was loved and cared for. Reading all your comments [on social media] gives us comfort and peace in this difficult time. Thank you All for your support and prayers. God Bless Unalaska.”
Malepeai Mamea is survived by her husband, a young daughter, and a large extended family. She worked at Alaska Ship Supply and North Port Rentals, and she volunteered at the Unalaska Christian Fellowship church.
Unalaska Deputy Police Chief Bill Simms said police do not suspect criminal involvement in Malepeai Mamea’s death, but an investigation is ongoing.
Simms said it can take two to four weeks for the state medical examiner to perform an autopsy and share final findings. Once police have those results, they’ll be able to tell the public whether they’re closing out the investigation or pursuing it further.