‘Man found dead on Tinian acted strangely a day before’

The man who was found dead in the jungle on Tinian last Friday morning was last seen a day before acting strangely and violent, according to the Department of Public Safety yesterday.

In a news release, acting DPS spokesman Sgt. Jason Tarkong said the case of 44-year-old Ian Napu Ikehara has been classified as a dead person.

Tarkong said that Guam chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola did an autopsy and that the preliminary findings are inconclusive. Police are awaiting a toxicology report.

Tarkong said that Tinian DPS received a report last Friday, May 12, at 6:50am, that Ikehara was missing.

Police said that Ikehara had been hired by a surveying company to help cut trails in the woods northeast of the Tinian airport for a land survey project on the island.

Police learned from an eyewitness that a day before, Thursday, May 11, Ikehara was cutting trails in the boonies.

The eyewitness allege that Ikehara began acting strangely and was violent. That scared the witness, who left Ikehara to seek help. The eyewitness notified other workers near the area. They tried to help Ikehara but were unable to locate him.

A search was then launched. The next day, Friday, at 9:50am, the eyewitness found Ikehara’s body in the jungle.

Tarkong said police then treated the scene as a crime scene as police detectives and crime scene technicians from Saipan DPS arrived on Tinian late Friday morning to process the scene and collect evidence.

The victim’s body was then brought to the Saipan Commonwealth Health Center’s morgue.

A Tinian resident questioned why it took so long for DPS Tinian to release information about the incident.

Saipan Tribune ran the story yesterday about the dead body upon receiving tips from Tinian.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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