‘Allan died of head injury from fall’

No signs of foul play

A second examination on the skull of then-Commonwealth Casino Commission employee Allan James Boyer Dela Cruz, who was found dead on the ground outside his home on Mt. Tapochau on Capital Hill in 2017, showed no indication of foul play. Instead, the finding is that he died of a head injury from what is being called a “slow fall.”

A source, who requested anonymity, disclosed yesterday that forensic anthropologist Dr. Robert Walter Mann examined Dela Cruz’s skull last April 8.

When asked about this, Department of Public Safety spokesman Dre Pangelinan said yesterday that he will get back to Saipan Tribune’s inquiry.

As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still awaiting Pangelinan’s reply.

The source said that Mann’s findings were similar to the earlier determination of Department of Public Safety detectives that Dela Cruz died from a fall or from a slow impact on a hard surface.

The source said Mann found that the victim sustained a massive injury on the head but Mann’s findings were consistent with police determination that Dela Cruz died from the fall and not from a fast-moving object.

The source said detectives found footprints all over the railings on the second-floor balcony of the house. The footprints were located almost exactly above where Dela Cruz was found on the ground.

The source said the second examination was done because, after the first autopsy, some people were insisting that DPS detectives were not doing their job, insisting that there might be foul play behind Dela Cruz’s death.

The source said the second examination’s findings were pretty much the same thing that detectives found during their initial investigation.

Those reportedly present at the second examination were representatives of the Office of the Attorney General Investigation Bureau, DPS detectives, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The findings of Dr. Mann were turned over to the OAG, the source said.

It was then-DPS spokesman Lt. Jason Tarkong who said that police responded on Sept. 22, 2017, to a report about a dead person at a house on Mt. Tapochau.

Tarkong said police investigation showed that the victim was lying on the ground outside the residence and the body was already decomposing.

Witnesses reportedly attempted the past few days to contact Dela Cruz on his phone, but he did not reply. The witnesses then decided to check on him at his home and found the body.

Tarkong said then-Guam chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola had ruled that the cause of Dela Cruz’s death was “undetermined.”

Tarkong said DPS then classified the case as a homicide considering that the cause of death is “undetermined.”

Espinola did the autopsy at the Commonwealth Health Center’s morgue on Oct. 21, 2017.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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.