Three arrests in relation to Mother's Day weekend tragedies
The Police has made three arrests in connection to two separate deaths where both men were found on the side of the road during the Mother’s day weekend.
The arrests were confirmed by Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, during an interview with the Samoa Observer at the Police headquarters in Apia.
“One man was arrested in relation to the murder case in Falelauniu, while other two men have been charged over the Leauvaa-uta murder," Auapa’au said.
The victim in Falelauniu, who was identified as Mauao Alapati Fiti, was found dead under a tree with stab wounds on his body on Sunday morning.
The same day, Michael Mikaele Tia, was also found on the main road not far from his residence at Leauva'a-uta.
Asked about the connection between the murder suspects and the victims, Auapa’au declined to comment.
“I cannot disclose that," he said. "You’ll have to wait until the matter is before Court, only then it becomes public information and I am referring to the details you are seeking. We can only confirm the charges have been laid and that’s it.
“However I can only say that alcohol was a factor and we can only appeal to members of the public to consume alcohol responsibly.
“I am speaking in general when I say that alcohol is a major factor in the increasing crime rate in Samoa, but the police cannot do anything about it, other than remind the public to consume with some responsibility,” said Auapa’au.
Regarding the incident in Falelauniu, the victim’s brother-in-law, Ioane Filipo, said Pati was killed and left on the side of the road.
Mr. Filipo said Pati was very outgoing and was always friendly.
“It’s quite shocking the way he died. He’s a funny character and not one to pick a fight with anyone. That is why we are shocked this has happened."
As for the second incident in Leauva’auta, the victim’s mother-in-law, Liliu Semeatu, told the Samoa Observer that Michael was also killed and left on the side of the road.
“There was a deep laceration on his forehead, and the top of his head felt like a sponge.”