US Marine Held In USS Peleliu Brig Allegedly Tied To Death Of Transgender Filipino
The San Diego-based USS Peleliu is acting as a brig for an American Marine being held in the Phillipines, following the killing of a transgender Filipino.
According to a Navy memo obtained by the Marine Corps Times, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the Marine's alleged ties to the victim, 26-year-old Jennifer Laude, who was born Jeffrey Laude.
The Marine in custody is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. His name hasn't been released.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper cites a police report as saying Laude checked into the Celzone Lodge hotel 11:30 p.m. Saturday with a male suspect described as having a “white complexion, with marine-style cut of hair":
The foreigner, however, left the hotel alone a few minutes after he and Laude entered their room.
Police said Elias Gallamos, one of the hotel’s room attendants, saw the suspect go out of the room, leaving the door ajar...
Police said Gallamos returned to the room at 11:45 p.m. and discovered Laude’s body, his head slumped in the toilet. Police said Laude could have been strangled and killed.
According to GulfNews.com, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines released a statement on Laude's death that read, in part:
“A US Marine has been identified as a possible suspect in the ongoing investigation...
“The United States will continue to fully cooperate with Philippine law enforcement authorities in every aspect of the investigation. The United States Embassy in Manila expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeffrey Laude.”
However, Rappler.com is reporting the Peleliu may be staying put a bit longer:
US Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear III ordered to put on hold the scheduled departure of US ships pending the investigation on the murder of a transgender that tagged an American serviceman.