Police probes mystery death

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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DEATH AT SEA: Peniamina Lio of Utuali’i points to where the girl’s body was found.

DEATH AT SEA: Peniamina Lio of Utuali’i points to where the girl’s body was found.

Mystery surrounds the discovery of the body of a young girl found floating in the ocean by five fishermen last week.

As such, the woman whose identity remains unknown is now the subject of an investigation by Police.

Police Media Officer, Su’a Lemamea Tiumalu, confirmed the investigation.

“We cannot discuss the details at this point because we have just started the investigation,” he told the Samoa Observer. “I also cannot confirm the identity of the girl.”

Asked if the girl could be linked to an incident at Matautu last Tuesday where a boat was allegedly stolen from the wharf, Su’a declined to comment. 

According to reports, a young girl had taken off on a 24ft white fibreglass boat from Apia Harbour at around 10am. 

The matter was apparently reported to the Police who in turn launched an investigation. 

Su’a said he was not sure whether that information had reached the office. 

But he confirmed that the investigation is being carried out by the Police C.I.D.

“One of the first things is to identify the body,” he said.

Last week, Sam Taufao, 25, from Utuali’i was among the fishermen who found the girl. He told the Samoa Observer she was already dead when they found her.

 “We were out fishing and we saw something floating on the sea,” said Taufao. 

“When we got closer, we discovered it was a body of a young girl already dead.”

The young man said the discovery alarmed them.

 “I have been fishing for more than 10 years but this is the first time I ever discovered something like this at sea,” Taufao said.

Taufao and his three brothers were accompanied by their uncle on Wednesday evening when they found the body. 

“It was lucky we went with my uncle because we would never put her on the boat. Instead, we would have tied her leg to a rope and towed her back to the shore.

“But my uncle insisted we carry her on the boat because we found her close to the reef and it was far from shore.” 

Taufao said he continues to have nightmares about seeing the dead body.

“On our way back, her nose started bleeding and it was smelly as well,” he said. 

“I couldn’t sleep last night and I couldn’t get her face off my mind. The smell remains in my nostrils. She must have died the night before we found her.” 

When the body was brought to shore, police was contacted right away. 

“I heard one of the officers taking her photo saying that she was the one who took off in a boat from Matautu,” said Taufao. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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