8 years since Luhk sisters disappeared

A tiny shrine with flowers and candles was erected yesterday at the site where sisters Faloma and Maleina Luhk were last seen waiting for a school bus on As Teo Drive corner Santa Lourdes Road in As Teo in the morning of May 25, 2011. The mysterious disappearance of the Luhk sisters enters its 8th year anniversary this Saturday. (Ferdie De La Torre)

The mysterious disappearance of sisters Faloma and Maleina Luhk will mark its eight year this Saturday, with still no trace on their whereabouts. In that time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation twice issued altered pictures of the sisters to show how they would possibly look now if they are still alive. Still nothing has turned up.

When asked for an update on their investigation, FBI spokesperson Michele Ernst told Saipan Tribune that they will issue a press release in the coming days.

“[The upcoming press release will] provide an update on the FBI efforts to find the Luhk sisters as we approach the eighth anniversary [of their disappearance],” said Ernst in an email.

Saipan Tribune learned yesterday that Elbert Quitugua, the grandfather of the Luhk sisters, and his family are planning to offer a Mass of special intention or remembrance, either at the Sta. Soledad Church in Kagman or at the Kristo Rai Church in Garapan this Saturday.

Saipan Tribune was still trying to obtain comments from Quitugua as of press time.

Yesterday afternoon, a little shrine with candles and flowers has been placed on a gutter near a public school bus shelter along As Teo Drive corner Santa Lourdes Road in As Teo, where the Luhk sisters were last seen in the morning of May 25, 2011. The sisters’ house is located just a few meters from the school bus shelter.

Faloma and Maleina were 10 and 9 years old, respectively, at the time of their disappearance. Their mother is currently in the U.S. mainland, while their father was last reported to be in Chuuk.

When the sisters disappeared, a massive monthlong search was conducted by the FBI, Department of Public Safety, other law enforcers, and volunteers on Saipan, but no trace were found of their whereabouts.

In March 2018, police searched a World War II concrete septic tank in Kagman after receiving a tip from an anonymous person that the sisters had been buried there. Searchers could not find any evidence from the tank.

In February 2018, police officers, backed by FBI agents, searched a home in Koblerville in search of the remains of the missing Luhk sisters, but did not find any evidence. The search prompted the family residing in the house to file a court action against authorities.

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
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.