Still no autopsy, no arrest


It’s been over three weeks since two women were shot dead inside a restaurant in San Antonio, yet no autopsy has been conducted on the victims’ bodies and no arrest has been made.

When asked for an update about the Dec. 13 double homicide, Office of the Attorney General information officer Carla Torres said over the weekend that they have no timeframe as to when to arrange the autopsy on the victims.

Torres said Attorney General Edward Manibusan will advise when their office has an agreement with a medical examiner who will conduct the autopsy.

“I’ll be in touch,” Torres said.

The CNMI and even Guam have problems as to who will conduct autopsies in both jurisdictions after Guam chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola retired in January 2019.
An autopsy will determine the cause and manner of a person’s death.

The medical examiner must certify that the death of a person was the result of a criminal act. Police investigation, which is supported by scientific evidence to corroborate the facts, will establish that the crime of murder was committed.

The Department of Public Safety said it is the OAG that has been coordinating the process to get a medical examiner for the autopsy.

Li Na Lim, 43, and Linhua Cui, 53, were found dead inside the Rice Cake Best Food Restaurant in the morning of Dec. 13 after they were reportedly shot by still unidentified person/s.

A source said robbery was the likely motive behind the killing. Although there has been no official word on how they were killed, multiple Saipan Tribune sources said they were shot.

Police found out that the victims’ shoulder bags could not be found at the crime scene.

Saipan Tribune learned that Lim used to work as a tour guide for Expo Tour, then she moved to another tour agency.

A year ago, Lim put up a company that took over the operation of Rice Cake Best Food Restaurant after the previous owner moved back to South Korea.

Cui was among the pioneer garment factory workers on Saipan. She worked for a long time as a baker at Paris Croissant in western Garapan. Cui helped Lim in running the Rice Cake Best Food Restaurant.

The NMI Crime Stoppers Program is offering up to $1,000 cash reward to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of the killer/s.

Based on police records, Friday’s fatal shooting in San Antonio is the fifth double homicide on Saipan since 1995, all of them involving Chinese nationals. All cases remain unsolved so far.

Although one of the victim, Li Na Lim, is a Korean national, the second victim, Linhua Cui, is of Chinese-Korean descent.

DPS spokesman Adrian Pangelinan earlier said that cold cases do not have a statute of limitation. “So if there is a new lead or new information on the case, DPS re-opens the case,” he had said.

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
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