FOR INFO ON LUHK SISTERS

FBI offers $25K reward

FBI says no tip is too small

– Grandpa still praying, hoping for closure

The baffling disappearance of sisters Faloma and Maleina Luhk enters its eighth year tomorrow with a fresh bid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to find them, this time with a reward offer of up to $25,000 for information leading to the sisters’ whereabout.

As this developed, Elbert Quitugua, the grandfather of the Luhk sisters, said yesterday that he and his family are going to offer a Mass of special intention or remembrance at the Sta. Soledad Church in Kagman tomorrow, Saturday, at 6pm.

The Luhk sisters disappeared while waiting for a school bus near their home in As Teo on May 25, 2011.

Quitugua said they are praying and hoping that someone would finally step forward to give information on what happened to his granddaughters and their whereabouts.

Quitugua said they are thankful to the FBI and police officers for not giving up in pursuing the investigations.
“We keep on praying that we will get closure,” he said.

In a statement yesterday, FBI spokesperson Michele Ernst said that May 25 is National Missing Children’s Day, which was proclaimed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

“The 25th also happens to be the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of the Faloma and Maleina Luhk, who vanished from the U.S. territory of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” said Ernst in a press release issued yesterday.

Ernst said the FBI remains dedicated to work with the CNMI Department of Public Safety to find the missing girls, eight years after they disappeared.

“Anyone in the community who has knowledge of the matter may also contact the FBI’s Saipan Office at 670-322-6934,” she said.

This past fall, the FBI announced the launch of the website, luhksisters.org, which is dedicated to soliciting tips and information regarding the missing sisters.

Since its launch, the site has provided an easy way for people to submit and share information that could help solve the mystery behind the girls’ disappearance.

“The FBI has been grateful for the input received and encourages anyone with information to visit the site and share information—keeping in mind that no tip is too small,” Ernst said.

Faloma and Maleina were 10 and 9 years old, respectively, at the time of their disappearance at a bus stop shelter along As Teo Drive corner Santa Lourdes Road in As Teo in the morning of May 25, 2011.

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

The Luhk sisters’ mother is currently in the U.S. mainland, while their father was last reported to be in Chuuk.

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

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