Aoki poses for a camera on her Facebook page. (Courtney Aoki/Facebook )
UPDATE (10:50 a.m.): Information was found of a profile on an escort websites that appears to have belonged to Ms. Aoki. The advertisement said, “I’m a very classy and discrete private dancer” who was available in the Orange County and Los Angeles County areas.
UPDATE (Fri. Feb. 22, 9:47 a.m.): Due to the sensitive nature surrounding parts of this story, the Lariat has changed some of the explicit wording that was present in the original story. The content and facts from this story remain unchanged. However, some of the language has been changed out of respect to the friends and family of the victim in this case who tragically lost her life.
(Thu. Feb. 21, 11:55 p.m.) Courtney Aoki was allegedly two months pregnant the morning of her murder, according to 23-year-old Danni Wood of Long Beach, Calif.
Saddleback student, Ali Syed, 20, went on a shooting rampage in Orange County Tuesday morning according to police officials. Aoki was Syed’s first victim according to police.
Friends said they were shocked to hear about the death of their close friend.
“Baby sister was everything to me,” Wood said. “I could talk to her about everything.”
Wood refers to herself not just as a close friend but as a “big sister.”
According to authorities there were rumors of Aoki being a stripper. Aoki’s 22-year-old ex-boyfriend Roger Azevedo, a resident of Eatonton, Ga., and Wood confirmed that she stripped and also offered erotic services for clientele.
Azevedo and Wood told the Lariat that they told her multiple times that she didn’t need to continue these services saying she was outgoing and very loving.
Wood said that she had never heard of Syed, or knew his name prior to the incident. Azevedo had no recollection of Syed either.
“I loved her to death,” Azevedo said. “I was planning on moving [back to Calif.] to be with her.”
In an interview with the Lariat, Wood revealed that although she didn’t agree with how Aoki made her money, she still supported her.
“[Her boyfriend] Dave [Gutierrez] and I would serve as her driver and bodyguard during some of her sessions to protect her,” Wood said, crossing her arms like she would while standing outside the door during Aoki’s sessions.
Not only did Aoki use “Kitty Kitanna” as her exotic name, it was also her alias on Facebook and YouTube account.
“If you look at her, her face looks like a little kitty cat,” Wood continued. “Kitana was her favorite sword that I own.”
After playing with the sword, the nickname was formed between the “sisters.”
In 2007, before Wood left for college, she and Aoki began a blood pact. “I cut my hand. She cut hers and with blood we shook on it,” Wood continued. “That is when I adopted her as my baby sister.”
Along with the two sisters, the blood pact of seven people in total identified themselves as wiccans.
Through the vibe Wood claims that wiccans have with their pact, Wood said she knew something was wrong the morning of Aoki’s murder.
“I was supposed to be her bodyguard that night,” Wood said as she made a gun gesture towards her head. “If I was with her I would have been killed too.”
Contrary to other reports that Aoki did not live with her mother, Wood and close friend of Aoki, Stacie Klondyke, 19, Fullerton, Calif., both insist that she did in fact live with her mother.
“I don’t understand why her mother said she didn’t live with her,” Wood said. “Every time I called my baby sister she would say she was home with her mom and I would tell her to say ‘hi’ to her mom for me.”
Klondyke also stated that when she would call Aoki, she said that she would be home with her mother.
“When I heard that the reports said she didn’t have her ID I didn’t believe it,” Wood said. “Whenever we went out she never left her ID.”
Wood said that she is suspicious as to why the ID was not present when Aoki’s body was found.
“I stripped down naked and jumped into the [ocean in Long Beach], I just wanted to feel numb,” she said when her friend called her to tell her about Aoki’s death.
Based on her Facebook page, Aoki’s favorite quote was, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
Wood said that Aoki was planning on being a massage therapist.
According to Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College administration, Aoki did not attend either schools.
Courtney Aoki (left) and “Big Sister” Danni Wood pose for concert at DiPiazza’s. (Courtney Aoki/Facebook)
Aoki, “Kitty Kitanna,” listed Danni Wood as her sister on her Facebook page. (Courtney Aoki/Facebook)
Wood said Courtney Aoki made the bracelet to represent their unity. (Angie L. Pineda)
Courtney Aoki claims
herself to be “Kitty Kitanna” on her facebook page. (Courtney Aoki/Facebook)