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San Diego-Based USS Peleliu Must Stay In Philippine Port During Transgender Murder Investigation

USS Peleliu in Subic Bay, Philippines, October 2014.
U.S. Navy
USS Peleliu in Subic Bay, Philippines, October 2014.

The Navy has let three of its ships depart Subic Bay in the Philippines, but not the San Diego-based USS Peleliu. That's because the ship is carrying one U.S. Marine whom Philippine police have charged with murdering a transgender Filipino, and three possible witnesses.

According to a Marine Corps news release:

“The USS Peleliu will remain in port at this time; personnel still actively involved in the investigation remain on board. The Marine Corps and Navy are cooperating fully with the Philippine authorities throughout the investigation, and will continue to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed and due process of law is followed.”
Marine PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton
Marine PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton

As Home Post reported earlier this week, police in the Philippines filed a murder complaint against U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton in connection with the killing of Jennifer (Jeffrey) Laude, a 26-year-old transgender Filipino.

An autopsy concluded Laude died due to "asphyxiation by drowning."

The Military Times reports that on Friday, the Philippine government served Pemberton with a subpoena:

The Department of Foreign Affairs said subpoenas for Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton and four other U.S. Marines sought as witnesses in the case were delivered to the U.S. Embassy.

Philippine media has reported witnesses saw Pemberton and Laude enter a hotel room together on Saturday night. Pemberton was seen leaving the room soon after. A hotel employee found Laude's body, slumped over the toilet, later that night.