He declined to identify the human remains as of press time and “out of respect to the family” and pending conclusion of DNA tests or through “other unique markings,” medical and dental records.
Mafnas said authorities recovered an ID yesterday morning, and DPS had been contacting the relatives of the victim.
Press Secretary Angel Demapan said the identification card which authorities said was found in an article of clothing that was recovered at the scene was “a municipal ID issued by one of the municipalities” in the CNMI.
When asked by reporters as to the total number of missing persons in the commonwealth, Crime Stoppers Coordinator PO2 Jason Tarkong said DPS has “several pending cold cases” and police could not provide an accurate number as of press time.
Mafnas, Demapan, and Tarkong met reporters during a media conference yesterday afternoon, and provided an update regarding the human remains found in Kagman on Sunday morning.
Mafnas said DPS crime scene technicians and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were still processing the crime scene.
“We are hoping to complete the process today,” Mafnas said, adding that they will continue the investigation associated with the crime scene.
Mafnas said “the body was lying on the surface near the road,” and investigators were “combing that particular area” for other possible pieces of evidence.
He said investigators have yet to determine how the body ended on the spot where it was found on Sunday morning.
Mafnas said the victim “died not too long ago.”
When asked if the relatives of the missing Luhk sisters, or other families in the commonwealth, have filed a missing persons report relating to the body found in Kagman, Mafnas said he “had not seen a missing persons’ report” prior to the holding of the media conference.
He reiterated that the human remains did not belong to Faloma Luhk, 10, or her sister Maleina Luhk, 9, who have been missing since May 25, 2011.
A medical doctor brought to the crime scene on Sunday confirmed that the remains were human, federal and local authorities said.
A dental examination conducted on the lower jaw indicated that the bones belonged to an adult male, according to a statement from the authorities.
They are still determining the cause of death.
“DPS and FBI officials are now working to confirm whether or not the person on the recovered identification card may be the same person whose remains were discovered” in Kagman, the media statement added.
In a statement read to the media, Demapan said: “In an effort to preserve the integrity of the evidence and the investigation process, DPS is requesting the continued patience of the public to allow investigators to process the crime scene adequately and properly.”
Demapan added, “Crime scenes, as in any jurisdiction, are restricted areas and accessed only by authorized law enforcement personnel and professionals assisting in the processing the area.”
Anicia Quitugua Tomokane, the missing Luhk sisters’ grand aunt, believes that the remains belonged to their missing uncle, Ricardo Muna Quitugua.