‘Person of interest’ identified

Posted on Feb 25 2012
Detective says ‘person of interest’ and Romero had no relationship
By Ferdie de la Torre

Authorities have already identified a “person of interest” into the killing of bartender Emerita “Emie” Romero, Public Safety Commissioner Ramon C. Mafnas disclosed yesterday in a news briefing.

Mafnas said that DPS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are currently investigating the activities and events associated with this “person of interest.”

When asked if Romero and the “person of interest” had a relationship, police detective Jeffrey Olopai said that nothing so far in their investigation indicates that there was a relationship between the two.

“Based on our investigation, there’s no indication that they knew each other,” Olopai said.

He confirmed that the “person of interest” is still on the island.

Chief prosecutor Peter Prestley said that if the “person of interest” will attempt to leave the island, “we’ll cross the bridge when we get there.”

Right now, Prestley said, they have not arrested anyone as they want to make sure that they have a good case.

Mafnas said that CNMI and federal law enforcement authorities are awaiting the results of the forensic analysis and examinations.

“The results of the analysis and examinations are critical in determining the outcome of the investigation and in potentially identifying the suspect[s],” said Mafnas, reading a prepared statement.

Although the autopsy has been completed, Mafnas said the result will not be released while the investigation is ongoing. This procedure is necessary “to safeguard the integrity and strength of the case,” he added.

He also disclosed that video footages have been collected and that investigators are currently reviewing them.

“These footages might yield valuable information to investigators,” Mafnas said.

Romero was last seen alive boarding a green or blue tinted sedan around 3am on Feb. 5 near her residence in Garapan. FBI agents found her body two days later in the northernmost building of the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque. Romero’s body was flown on Saturday to the Philippines to be buried.

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