Chief prosecutor Shelli Neal has disclosed that they has just learned that no laboratory testing was ever performed comparing murder suspect Joseph A. Crisostomo’s footprints to those found at the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque, where the body of bartender Emerita Romero was found.
Neal made the disclosure in her request to the Superior Court on Thursday to amend the pretrial scheduling order. The deadline for completion of discovery was on that day, Thursday.
The chief prosecutor said an expert barefoot morphologist may be able to analyze and compare Crisostomo’s footprints.
She also disclosed that lab analysis of hairs found on a shirt has been recommended.
Neal said a key witness recently returned to the island who intends to submit additional evidence that will require lab analysis.
She said the defense counsel has requested to view items in the Department of Public Safety’s evidence room, but the counsel was not available that day, Thursday, and the evidence room has been inaccessible due to recent events.
Neal asked the court to extend the Oct. 31, 2013, deadline to allow completion of this additional testing, “which will most likely aid the court and the jury in making important findings of fact.”
She said the government believes it will have the test results within 60 days of submission as the evidence in this case is being expedited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Laboratory.
FBI agents found Romero’s body at the former La Fiesta Mall on Feb. 7, 2012, two days after she was last seen boarding a car near her house in Garapan.