The murder of bartender Emerita Relata Romero, whose body was found at the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque, has been cold for eight months now, with no one being charged with the crime yet.
Romero's sister said yesterday that they are still hoping and praying that the suspect will be arrested and charged in court.
When asked for an update in the investigation, Department of Public Safety spokesman Jason Tarkong said the police reports have already been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General's Criminal Division. Tarkong said it is up to the OAG to provide an update in the case.
When sought for comment last week, Chief Prosecutor Peter Prestley said he spoke with acting attorney general Viola Alepuyo about issuing a press release. Prestley said that Alepuyo prefers to hold a press conference.
“We are still deciding when to hold that conference, but I will certainly let you know when it is scheduled,” Prestley said in an email.
Eduardo Relata, brother of Romero, told Saipan Tribune Monday night that the pace of the investigation is very slow.
Relata said he learned that the investigation has already been completed and the reports were already forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General's Criminal Division.
“I was told that we should just wait until the case is finally filed in court against the suspect,” said Relata in Filipino.
Last May, Police Capt. Lawrence Camacho, the then chief of the Department of Public Safety's Criminal Investigation Bureau, stated that police detectives are not abandoning the investigation into Romero's murder.
Camacho assured the public and the family of Romero that they are still working on the case.
Romero was last seen alive boarding a green or blue tinted sedan around 3am on Feb. 5, 2012, near her residence in Garapan. FBI agents found her body two days later during a search in the northernmost building of the former La Fiesta Mall.
The cash reward, including the Crime Stoppers' $1,000, has now reached $22,000 for any information leading to an arrest in this case.