An elderly mother alleged to have been raped before she was murdered in her own home at Faleasi’u last month was discovered days later when her sister went to visit her.

Leuma Fesola’i Lauesi, a 66-year-old pensioner, was found naked and dead in her home. 

Police are investigating her death. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, relative Fesola’i Ulufale said Leuma lived alone because her children reside overseas. 

Fesola’i lives two houses down from the deceased woman. 

She recalled that the last time she saw Leuma was when they attended a meeting about a land issue.

 “After we had that meeting, I had asked her what her plans would be for the day,” said Fesola’i. “She mentioned that she had nothing else to do but she was to go and take out her pension benefit and that was the last time I had seen her. 

“It wasn’t until four days later that her sister who lives in Vaitele came to visit that we found out what had happened to Leuma.”

Fesola’i who is also the matai of the family said it was the first time she had experienced something like this. 

“We could smell her body from outside the door,” she remembered. 

“It was devastating…she was found dead on the bed with injuries (to her head).”

From what was relayed to Fesola’i about the elderly mother’s autopsy, her throat was crushed as if someone had strangled her and had injuries on her head.

The elderly mother matai of the family was also told by Police that Leuma had just taken out money from her pension on the week she was found.  

“I could not believe that someone could do something like that to her,” she said in disbelief. 

“It’s hard to believe because everyone in this village knows her. She’s a hardworking woman that keeps her land clean and tidy. 

“You would find no litter on her land and she even has her own plantation…she was a very active woman.”

Fesola’i said the mother is buried in front of her house in Faleasiu.

When the Samoa Observer visited Leuma’s house yesterday, police had a yellow tape around the land to keep people away from the crime scene. 

Fesola’i explained that during the funeral, police were at the residence keeping everyone outside of the land except for the pall bearers who carried her coffin to her grave. 

Even the villagers were asked to stand on the other side of the road during the funeral. 

Contacted for a comment yesterday, Police Spokesperson, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu confirmed the death. He said they are investigating.

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?