‘Search for Luhk sisters shamed our family’


Members of the Crisostomo family think the authorities’ recent search for the remains of missing sisters Faloma and Maleina Luhk at their Koblerville property was both laughable and shameful to the entire family.

Annie A. Crisostomo, in her declaration on Wednesday, said the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found nothing when they dug up the property last Saturday.

In a declaration on Wednesday, Evelyn A. Crisostomo said the entire family is in shock and is deeply shamed by the search.

Annie and Evelyn Crisostomo’s declarations were attached in the Crisostomo family’s motion for the Superior Court to unseal the search warrant.

Janet H. King filed the motion as counsel for siblings Joseph, Annie, Evelyn, and Calistro Crisostomo.

King said the Crisostomo family had their lives suddenly disrupted by a very public search of their property, yet no members of the family have been charged with any crimes related to the search.

King stated in the motion that the court should release the search warrant associated with the search, its attached affidavits that recount basic facts about the suspected offenses, and provide probable cause for the issuance of the warrant, and a property inventory of the things seized, if any.

Although everyone hopes the mystery of the Luhk sisters’ disappearance is solved, King said there is no indication that any member of the Crisostomo family is under suspicion.

King said the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the NMI Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.

Courts around the country have held that under the 4th Amendment, targets of search warrants have a pre-charge right of access to search warrant materials.

King said in order to protect the government’s interest in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the Luhk sisters, the Crisostomo family would agree to a gag order that would limit access only to the Crisostomo family, their counsel, and counsel’s staff and agents, and the court and its staff in any legal action involving the search warrant materials.

Annie Crisostomo, 43, said the idea of human remains of the Luhk sisters on their property was so preposterous that she actually laughed out loud when she read in the search warrant that authorities were looking for the remains.

“Although I was laughing, inside I was very fearful and embarrassed because my family and I are being unfairly treated…ever since the search on our property,” she said.

Annie Crisostomo said the property is owned by their mother, Ana, who passed away in May 2017.

Annie Crisostomo currently resides in the Koblerville property with her family, along with her brother, Calistro, and his family.

She recalled that when she came home last Saturday at 2pm, she found 15 to 20 police and FBI agents at their home. She said many officers were standing around, some seemed like they were guarding them, and others were shoveling.

Annie Crisostomo said a very large backhoe then came.

At some point, she asked the police what was going on and she was handed a one-page document and was told it was a search warrant.

Annie Crisostomo said she read the search warrant, that they were looking for the human remains of the Luhk sisters.

She said the police and FBI, by coming on their property and digging, unfairly connected them to the Luhk sisters’ disappearance.

“People hate us. More than the usual number of cars have been passing by our house since Feb. 17, 2018, passing by [and] slowing down just to take a look,” she added.

Evelyn Crisostomo, 33, pointed out that her brother, Joseph Crisostomo, who has been convicted of murder, was at the Department of Corrections and serving a five-year sentence on something not related to the Luhk sisters when the children went missing in May 2011. She said their brother, Joseph, was only released from Corrections on Dec. 17, 2011.

Joseph A. Crisostomo was slapped with a life imprisonment sentence in May 2014 for the murder, rape, and kidnapping of bartender Emerita Romero.

Evelyn Crisostomo believes the police and FBI are only harassing them, as they do not have a good basis to damage the Crisostimo property and subject them to shame in front of their neighbors and people passing by last Saturday.

“We just want to know what is going on. We feel like we are being targeted and the police and FBI did whatever they wanted to do unfairly and irresponsibly,” she said.

As of yesterday, authorities were still mum on what prompted the search.

This coming May 25 marks the seventh year of the mysterious disappearance of the Luhk sisters near a school bus pavilion in As Teo.

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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