Mafnas believes killing, rape were drug related

Posted on Feb 13 2012

Public Safety Commissioner Ramon Mafnas expressed belief yesterday that illegal drugs were involved in both the killing of bartender Emerita Relata Romero and the reported rape and attempted kidnapping of an Asian woman in Garapan.

In a news briefing, Mafnas said he believes that the suspects in the two cases are drug users who “unfortunately failed to control their behavior and failed to respect human lives and property.”

He pointed out, however, that they don’t have evidence that the two cases are connected.

He said DPS has reached a very critical stage in the investigation of both cases and that DPS assigned many personnel and resources just for the two cases.

“All these efforts require close coordination and management to maximize effectiveness and prevent gross errors,” Mafnas said.

He said DPS is working closely with the FBI in gathering, preserving, and processing of evidence.

“Forensic examinations and assessments on all evidence are being performed on-island and off-island. The results can only strengthen the government’s case,” he said.

As for the green or blue sedan where Romero was reportedly last seen boarding around 3am on Feb. 5 in Garapan, Mafnas disclosed that the vehicle “has been processed.”

“We are processing that vehicle. We have yet to determine the significance of that particular vehicle,” he said.

When asked if the vehicle has already been identified, Mafnas replied, “We never said that.”

He refused to comment if the police have any good leads in the Romero case.

Romero’s body was found by FBI agents at the northernmost building of the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque in the afternoon of Feb. 7.

In the case of the woman who was raped in Garapan, Mafnas disclosed that DPS is currently searching for a 2002 Hyundai Accent four-door sedan, yellowish gold color with black wheels without hubs.

“There is a possibility that the color of the sedan has been changed or painted over. The license plate number on the vehicle is faded,” he said.

An unidentified man beat up and raped the victim, described as 25-year-old Asian, at knifepoint inside her bedroom in western Garapan on Jan. 29. DPS only released the information to the media last Thursday, Feb. 9.

The suspect also tried to take the victim with him to his car but she managed to escape by yelling for help.

The suspect was described as in his late teens to early 20’s, brown complexioned, very short hair, about 5’5” to 5’8” tall, and weighing 150 to 170 lbs.

The victim sustained some injuries. Medics transported her to the Commonwealth Health Center.

The victim’s apartment is located a few blocks away from Godfather’s Bar, where Romero worked as a bartender.

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