A ‘sense of community’: Life of Carly Scott celebrated by hundreds


While many questions are still unanswered in the disappearance of Carly “Charli” Scott, her life was celebrated by hundreds Sunday afternoon in a memorial with unicorns, food and music.

It was a welcomed break for the many friends, family and co-workers gathered at Baldwin Beach Park in Paia to help alleviate the pain and sorrow of being without one of the most compassionate people they have ever known.

“It’s beautiful,” said Kimberlyn Scott, the missing woman’s mother. “I am without words how happy it makes me to know that she has been surrounded by this much love and this many good people. A lot of the people here have never even met Charli, they were just moved by the story and have been searching. I’m very, very, very grateful.”

In addition to trays of food, attendees brought pictures and other items in remembrance of Scott and placed them on the walls of a shelter at the park. Items also were placed on a miniature boat that was carved by hand, which Scott had long-requested in case anything would happen to her.

Aboard the boat were hundreds of flowers and a bright, white unicorn.

“Unicorns were always her thing,” said Fiona Elyse McKenna Wais, one of Scott’s younger sisters, adding that Scott’s favorite movie was 1982’s “The Last Unicorn.”

Wais joked that her sister always considered herself a “unicorn among beasts” and that she would occasionally tell her family that if she died she wanted a boat carved out for her, shipped out to sea and burned “like the vikings used to do for their lords.”

” ‘I don’t care how you get it done, it just has to be done,’ ” Wais remembered her sister saying. “We’re getting it done.”

Scott’s unique personality, or quirkiness, was a trait many friends and family members spoke fondly of, including her taste in music, clothes and hair.

As the words, “I’m a ninja, I’m a hoodie ninja,” blared over the speakers at the park, Kimberlyn Scott let out a laugh.

“Oh, she used to love that song,” she said.

While Carly Scott was noticeable for her formerly blue hair and pinup-girl-style clothes, many will most remember her for the love and happiness she imbued in those she met.

“On bad days, you can just lay your head on her lap and she’ll just rub your arm real soft and tell you things that will brighten your day, as if nothing else mattered,” said longtime friend Brittany Ford. “She had great words of wisdom for her age and was very happy all the time. You could just disappear in Charli. She’s just amazing, there’s no other way to say it.”

Ford first met Scott as a teenager growing up in Woodland, Calif. Scott, who was two years younger than Ford, lived in the same area and the two became close through mutual friends.

“I was in a really bad time, and every day she would just comfort me and remind me how amazing life is and how fortunate we all are.”

After losing touch for some time when Scott’s family moved to Maui, Ford tracked her down and gave her a call, which brought them back together.

“I was in San Francisco going to college and she told me, ‘You got come to Maui. It’s beautiful, you’ll love it,’ ” Ford recalled. “I grabbed a tent and a suitcase and hopped on a flight two days later in the middle of the night. I showed up here and stayed with her, and camped out a couple of days, and ended up getting a job in Lahaina and I’ve been here nine years.”

Brooke Scott, who is two years older than the 27-year-old Carly Scott, said that her sister was in charge by the age of 6.

“I’m probably the No. 1 problem child in the family,” she laughed. “In so many ways Charli was the older sister to me. I know I’m supposed to be the oldest but nobody would’ve guessed it by watching us interact. She always had to tell me how to do things and not mess up or anything.”

Brooke Scott said that she did not always surround herself with the best crowd when she was a teenager, and that her sister helped her get the good friends she has today.

“I’m always, always going to hear her voice on how I can improve,” she said. “She’s probably one of the only people I cared what they thought about me. . . . I’d say, the last many years of my life, I’ve wanted badly to impress her.”

In many ways, Carly Scott’s care for people was maternal – fitting for the Makawao resident who was five months pregnant when she disappeared.

Kimberlyn Scott said that her daughter always cared enough to get to know the most intimate details about people, including what they liked to eat, when they liked to eat, where they worked, their favorite color, their favorite music, etc.

“She always made everyone feel very important and that’s a gift,” she said. “That’s a gift my baby had.”

Kimberlyn Scott said that her daughter also taught her about eating healthier, how to grow plants, and cutting and coloring hair.

“She would’ve been an amazing mother,” she said. “It’s a funny thing. You raise your kids and you give them every piece of information that you have inside of you to make sure they’re safe, and you teach them everything that you know. . . . I got to have Charli here long enough to experience that thing that all parents eventually come to where their children start teaching them. I’m very grateful for that.”

Also attending Sunday’s memorial was Carly Scott’s father, Robert Scott, who has been flying back and forth from his home in Seattle to help with searches. He said that he is planning another memorial on the Mainland for relatives who could not make the trip to Maui and was thankful for the support and turnout by his daughter’s friends.

“I don’t think I know this many people back home, let alone have them love me like all the love I feel here,” he said. “The sense of community, whether they knew her or not, is incredible.”

Although there were many smiling faces and laughter among the crowd that celebrated Carly Scott’s life, Kimberlyn Scott said that she will never have closure until her daughter “comes home.”

Carly Scott was last seen Feb. 9 by her ex-boyfriend, whose car broke down on Hana Highway in Keanae. Police have identified the ex-boyfriend as a “person of interest.” Scott’s disappearance was reclassified March 7 as a homicide case.

“I think I would balk against the concept of there being closure because that means there’s some kind of peace or end to something, and there’s way too many questions for that to happen,” Kimberlyn Scott said.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at csugidono@mauinews.com.