Maori man found dead in motel died from cardiac arrest

A relative of the 70-year-old Maori man found dead in a motel in Lotopa earlier this month has confirmed he died from a cardiac arrest.

William James Ranga of Avondale New Zealand died at Rita’s Lodge in Lotopa when he was in Samoa to visit a friend. 

His cousin, Diane Jennings, from New Zealand confirmed that Mr. Williams, who is commonly known as Bill, has been cremated in Samoa. 

She could not state when her cousin’s ashes will be returned to New Zealand. 

“We will bring his ashes home to New Zealand and he will be buried in the family plot next to his mother in Auckland,” said Ms. Jennings. 

She added the 70-year-old appeared to have had a cardiac arrest that caused his death. 

The relative also acknowledged the Aiulu family in Malie who were the host family for Bill for their help and support. 

“They have shown Bill and our family much love and care,” she added. 

“We have also had a lot of assistance from M.F.A.T. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade] in Samoa. 

“It has been a very sad time for us all.”

 A member of the host family, Ulia Aiulu, from Malie said the deceased is a family friend who regularly comes to Samoa to visit his older brother who resides in Australia.  

Mr. Ranga did not have children and was not married, he said. 

According to Ulia, they were expecting Mr. Ranga on Sunday for to’onai. He did not turn up. 

His older brother then went to the Lodge to look for him.

He confirmed that a representative from Rita’s Lodge had given his brother the key to Mr. Ranga’s room when he did not open the door. 

“He was my older brother’s friend and he was family to us,” said Ulia. 

“He often stays with our family at Malie when he comes to Samoa but this time he said he wanted to stay at Rita’s Lodge. His routine since he arrived is that he comes to Malie every morning and goes back to Lotopa at night for a rest.”  

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