Habitual offender Joseph Acosta Crisostomo is also a “person of interest” in the killing of a woman who either jumped out or was thrown out from a moving car on Beach Road in Garapan in 2001.
Saipan Tribune learned that the victim, Ye Xiu Zhang, and the car she was on had just come from Kadena Di Amor St.-the same street where murdered bartender Emerita Romero entered a tinted car at about 3am on Feb. 5, 2012.
Sources disclosed that back in 2001, Crisostomo was a target of the police's investigation into the killing of Zhang. Sources said the investigation did not progress as there was no solid evidence to pin the crime on Crisostomo at the time.
A surveillance camera at Duty Free Shoppers caught the incident on tape when Zhang fell out from the car, but the footage was blurry, one source said.
According to Department of Public Safety records, police received a call on June 17, 2001, at 2:49am, about a woman lying on the ground near the Hard Rock Café along Beach Road, Garapan.
Medics brought the injured woman, who was later identified as Zhang, to the Commonwealth Health Center, where she became unconscious due to head injuries. Zhang died on July 2, 2001, as a result of her injuries.
Traffic officers initially thought that Zhang had been hit by a vehicle. Investigators, however, later discovered that the victim either fell out or was thrown out from a moving vehicle that was heading north in front of Hard Rock Café.
An autopsy revealed that Zhang died from blunt trauma to her head. Police classified the case as a homicide.
In January 2004, then Crime Stoppers coordinator and now Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Thomas Blas Jr. issued an announcement, encouraging anyone who may have seen the vehicle that Zhang was riding on that day of June 17, 2001, to call the Crime Stoppers Tips Line.
“Someone may have seen Zhang or the vehicle earlier in the evening on the roadway from Diane's Poker out to Beach Road by Big Dipper heading north,” Blas said.
Sources said that investigators suspected that Zhang struggled in the car and either jumped out or she was pushed out from the moving vehicle.
Saipan Tribune was able to confirm over the weekend that Diane's Poker changed ownership in 2007 and is now called Ace Poker I. Big Dipper's office also used to be along Beach Road near the corner of Kadena Di Amor St.
Ace Poker I, located along Asusena Avenue corner Kadena Di Amor St., is only a few steps away from where Romero was last seen alive.
Investigators learned that on Feb. 5, 2012, at about 3am, Crisostomo's car stopped in the grassy parking lot of Saint Michael's Medical Response along Kadena Di Amor Street corner Chichirica Avenue.
Crisostomo, 39, is charged in the kidnapping and murder of Romero.