Joseph Acosta Crisostomo, the ex-convict who was charged in the kidnapping and murder of bartender Emerita Romero in 2012, has been linked to the killing of a woman at Laulau Beach in 2006.
As this developed, assistant attorney general Shelli Neal formally filed yesterday in Superior Court an information charging the 39-year-old Crisostomo with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault in the first degree, robbery, theft, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace for the killing of Romero.
Multiple sources disclosed that authorities reopened the investigation into the killing of Chinese national Bao Ying Chen after a witness surfaced and disclosed to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Crisostomo's possible involvement in that case.
When asked whether Crisostomo is also a suspect in Chen's slaying, Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Thomas Blas Jr. stated yesterday that Chen's case has been reopened and that detectives are pursuing all available leads.
“As of this time, I have no information to confirm whether he is a person of interest or a suspect in the case or as to his involvement in any way,” Blas said.
Two fishermen found the lifeless body of a naked woman along the shoreline of Laulau Beach in the afternoon of Nov. 23, 2006.
An autopsy determined that the victim died of asphyxiation by drowning.
On Dec. 13, 2006, DPS disclosed that the woman was 41-year-old Chen, who was identified through her fingerprint records. Chen was married to a real estate broker.
A police officer disclosed to Saipan Tribune that a few days after the discovery of Chen's body, Crisostomo's name arose during the investigation as he was apparently seen at Laulau Beach at that time, driving a rented car.
The officer said he was not aware why the investigation into Chen's death did not progress.
A source disclosed yesterday that Crisostomo was seen with some companions at a place in Laulau overlooking the beach at 8:30am on Nov. 23, 2006.
The source said at the time Chen's body had not been found yet, but one of Crisostomo's companions was surprised upon learning later that a woman was found dead on the shoreline.
The source said that Crisostomo was seen that morning carrying a backpack that contained two cell phones, including one believed to be owned by a Chinese national.