Court grants presumptive death certificate for Encabo


The CNMI Superior Court has granted the request of family members for the issuance of a presumptive death certificate for 21-year-old Honorio Ricky Encabo II, exactly a year since he was swept out to sea.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has directed the Registrar of Vital Statistics to prepare a death certificate marked “presumptive” for Encabo and to indicate that he died on July 5, 2020.

Micronesian Legal Services Corporation’s Zane Mowery petitioned the court to issue a presumptive death certificate for Encabo on behalf of Marithel A. Johnson, the mother of Encabo’s only child.

In his order, Camacho made a specific finding that Encabo drowned on July 5, 2020.

According to the order, the day after Encabo’s disappearance, his torn and ragged shirt was discovered near the underwater cave into which he had disappeared, along with one of his shoes.

Searchers were able to identify the shirt and shoe, saying that they were worn by Encabo when he went on a hike to the Infinity Pool on Saipan, based on photos taken on July 5, 2020, that Johnson had provided to the Department of Public Safety.

Two days after Encabo’s disappearance, tattered remains of Encabo’s shorts, his underwear, and one of his shoes were found.

Each article of clothing had been torn, with the shorts and underwear having signs of what appeared to be a large bite mark, Camacho stated.

Department of Public Safety Officer Juanna Tedtaotao, who was called to testify, stated that such tearing could have been caused by sharp rocks or by wildlife.

“Encabo did not suffer any pain related to the bite marks and other indicia of animal predation as those things happened afterwards,” the order stated.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Encabo’s body was never recovered despite a four-day long search conducted by the CNMI Department of Public Safety with help of other professional divers.

Encabo was part of a group of three who had gone to the area for a hiking trip. He was with Analyn Pabilona and Johnson. They were reportedly along the edge of a natural formation called “infinity pool” in As Teo when Encabo slipped and fell.

According to Pabilona, Encabo fought as hard as he could to rejoin them soon after being swept to sea, despite being weakened by the numerous cuts and scrapes on his body, an injured knee, and his head crashing into a rock.

Encabo was born on Saipan and was a resident of Susupe. He was the son of Yunis Ricky Encabo and Freddie Calicdan Encabo.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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