Pastor and woman from church congregation found dead
Two victims of a suspected homicide, who were found dead inside a car in the early hours of Wednesday morning, have been identified as a church Pastor and a female churchgoer, according to hospital staff and congregation members.
The two victims were found dead inside a grey Nissan Cube by police shortly before 2 am on Wednesday and opposite the United Nations' Samoan headquarters at Tuanaimato.
The deceased have been identified as Pastor Lui Seve of the Assemblies of God Church in Falelauniu and female church member Malaea Ioane, according to two members of the congregation who did not wished to be named.
The victims were taken by police to the Motootua National Hospital about 2 am, according to a senior staff at the Hospital who declined to be identified.
Two security guards at the national hospital in Motootua also identified the male victim as Pastor Lui.
A police officer who was at the scene – when the Samoa Observer arrived on Wednesday morning – said the Police are still continuing their investigations but were treating the case as a homicide.
“I can confirm that some people died here but I cannot give any details,” the officer said. “We are treating this case as a homicide”.
Another police officer told this newspaper that the victims were understood to have been found in the small car by passersby, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, who then called the authorities for help.
“I think the broken glasses on the side of the car was how the Police broke open the car,” the officer, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said.
“Some people found the bodies early today (Wednesday) morning and called the police.”
There were police officers at the sealed-off crime scene later on Wednesday as investigations continued.
Police have not returned an official request for comment from this newspaper as of press time last night.
This newspaper went to the Assemblies of God Church in Falelauniu on Wednesday afternoon but was unable to find anyone available to comment.
A police officer at the scene, who is also not authorised to speak to the media, said both the victims were “old”.
A resident of Falelauniu, who is also a church member, said a post on Facebook had been circulating identifying the woman victim, Malaea, as missing. She was later identified as one of the deceased.