Luhk sisters’ disappearance enters 7th year

Diocese of Chalan Kanoa will hold Mass of remembrance this Saturday

The Diocese of Chalan Kanoa will hold a Mass of remembrance this Saturday for sisters Faloma and Maleina Luhk, who mysteriously disappeared from a school bus stop near their home in As Teo seven years ago.

As this developed, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Michele M. Ernst told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the FBI remains committed to working with the CNMI Department of Public Safety to search for the missing sisters.

“The FBI is urging anyone in the community who has any information to contact the FBI’s Saipan Office at (670) 322-6934,” Ernst said.

Ernst declined to provide any specific updates pertaining to the FBI’s investigation.

According to the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa’s announcement, the Mass will be held at 11am at St. Jude Church in Koblerville.

The Luhk sisters disappeared near a bus stop in As Teo on May 25, 2011.

The Diocese has invited everybody to continue praying for the two girls and stated, “resolution, enlightenment, and ultimately peace will be achieved through coming together in prayers.”

The Mass is in anticipation of the seventh anniversary since the Luhk sisters disappeared on May 25, 2011.

Fr. James Balajadia will preside over the Mass. Guest homilist Monsignor James Benavente, who is the FBI chaplain for Guam and Saipan, will join.

“This Eucharistic celebration is also a source of healing and unity for those who have suffered a tragedy such as suicide of a loved one or any violence that has brought harm,” the diocese said.

The diocese is inviting everyone to the Mass, regardless of religious affiliation, to gather as a community in worship and to light candles for the Luhk sisters. “May they never be forgotten,” the diocese said.

Early last March, police searched a World War II septic tank in Kagman after receiving a tip from an anonymous person. Searchers could not find evidence from the tank.

A video released by the Department of Public Safety information office showed officers using a backhoe to destroy and open the tank, reportedly located in an abandoned lot.

Last Feb. 17, police officers backed by FBI agents searched a home in Koblerville in search for the remains of the missing Luhk sisters, but did not find any evidence.

Faloma and Maleina Luhk will be 16 and 17 years old now and DPS detectives said they will continue to work to try to find answers, close the case, and give the family the answers they need.

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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