‘No indication Saleh left Saipan’

Detectives conduct search in As Teo toward Laulau Bay entrance

Jamal A. Saleh

There are no indications that missing lawyer Jamal A. Saleh has left Saipan since being reported missing last Tuesday.

Saipan Tribune sources said that Department of Public Safety detectives have already sought the assistance of federal authorities and were able to confirm that the 49-year-old Saleh, an assistant public defender, did not leave Saipan through the airport.

As this developed, detectives did a morning search yesterday in As Teo toward the entrance of Laulau Bay, but did not find the lawyer.

Saleh lived in Chalan Santa Lourdes, As Teo.

DPS detectives and Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services conducted a search last Thursday and Friday, but halted their operation over the weekend.

Lt. Jeffrey Olopai, chief of the DPS Criminal Investigation Bureau, said yesterday that their information office will issue a statement today, Tuesday, to ask for the public’s assistance in the search.

With the search halted over the weekend, detectives looked into, among other things, the lawyer’s background, sources said.

DPS described Saleh as having Arabian/Native Indian features, weighs about 200 lbs, and has long gray hair.

Saleh and assistant public defender Shoshanah Epstein were hired by the Office of the Public Defender from New Mexico last May.

Police responded to a complaint from a person about a missing person in As Teo last Tuesday at 11:36am. The person said that her friend, Saleh, is missing.

Earlier that day, Saleh could not sleep and went for a walk at 1:30am. Since then, the witness had been texting the lawyer, but there was no reply.

Saleh has not returned home and has not reported to work at the OPD.

Police officers and firefighters scoured the jungles and other areas of As Teo, Kagman, Laulau Beach, and San Vicente on Thursday and Friday. The lawyer had with him his cellphone when he left the house.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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