When news of the deaths first spread in the neighborhood, Isomura said she wondered whether Ozeki chose "michi-zure, " a Japanese expression, she said, which means to "take her children with her."
However, Isomura said Monday that she has since discounted that idea. "She was always sick. We would say 'hi' to each other and talk. But she would always tell me she was sick and needed rest."
The Ozekis were described as a close-knit, loving family. "It was obvious that the mother loved her children and cared for them. They were good children, very well-behaved," Isomura added.
Known for Doing Favors
She said they were the kind of a family that did favors for neighbors and asked for nothing in return. Scotty Ozeki, the couple's teen-age son, often offered to clean Isomura's car as a favor and would do small chores for others, such as set their trash cans out on trash day.
"Kelli was real friendly among all the kids in the neighborhood," said another neighbor, Valerie Vicari, whose 10-year-old daughter, Shannon was Kelli's best friend. "There was nothing abnormal about that family at all, except their children behaved nicer than most."
In the two years the Vicaris and Ozekis were next-door neighbors, Alison would often baby sit for the Vicaris' younger children. Children from both families played together in each other's backyards.
Aside from a bout with strep throat that had caused Dalene Ozeki to be bedridden for several days, Vicari said her neighbor didn't display any unusual behavior.
As tears welled in Vicari's eyes during an interview Monday, she said: "Kelli was a wonderful little girl. She meant an awful lot to our family."