Police has new lead in pensioner’s death

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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CRIME SCENE: Leuma Fesola’i's home at Sapulu Faleasiu.

CRIME SCENE: Leuma Fesola’i's home at Sapulu Faleasiu.

The horrific death of a pensioner mother at Faleasiu in January remains unresolved but Police have resumed their investigation based on new information.

An inquest into the death of, Leuma Fesola’i was called in the District Court yesterday. 

The investigating officer, Soliali’i Paito Leifi told the District Court that no one has been charged and Police are looking for witnesses. 

According to Soliali’i's affidavit read out in Court the mother was discovered by her sister on Friday, 22nd January, 2016. 

The sister, Julie Fesola’i was attending a funeral in Sapulu Faleasiu with her husband when she decided to visit Leuma. 

When she arrived at the house no one was seen in the front. The back door was locked. However, Julie saw that the windows at the back were smashed and when she looked inside she saw Leuma lying on the floor naked with blood and a piece of cloth covering her chest. 

She left the crime scene and went to the funeral where her husband was and asked him to come with her. 

They returned to the house and later contacted Police for help. 

The Court heard that the body of the pensioner was starting to smell at the time Police arrived at the scene. 

Police investigation found that the mother lived alone. 

According to Soliali’i’s affidavit the mother sometimes swore at people of the village and did chores in the middle of the night.  

She has four sons, one of them is deceased and the other is mentally ill. 

From Police investigation they concluded the cause of the pensioner mother’s death was the  unlawful acts done by someone else. 

“However there are no witnesses and we cannot confirm the exact day she died,” said Soliali’i. 

“From the doctor’s report (autopsy) the doctor found a bone in her neck is broken indicating that she was strangled. 

"Just last week Tuesday and Wednesday we received new information and our team is working on that to investigate.”

He did not disclose in Court what the new information is.

The Court was told that the pensioner’s death is being treated as a homicide. 

She is buried in front of her house. 

District Court Judge and Coroner, Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai questioned the investigating officer where the autopsy report was. 

Judge Vaepule said that what the officer had mentioned about the doctor’s report is hearsay but the document is needed to be tendered in Court. 

In response, the officer said he would need to ask the Attorney General’s office for the report as they are in contact with the doctors.  

The Coroner made it clear that the case cannot be closed unless the autopsy report is disclosed and tendered in Court. 

The matter has been adjourned until 20th July 2016. 

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