Photo: Jennifer Laude was strangled in a hotel in Olongapo City on Oct 12.
Philippine police are asking for the surrender of 19-year-old US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who is suspected of murdering a 26-year-old transgender woman named Jennifer Laude. The alleged murder took place in a hotel in Olongapo City on Oct 12.
According to the police report, Elias Gallamos claims to have witnessed Laude entering Celzone Lodge with an “unidentified male white foreigner” with a “marine style haircut.”
A friend of Laude told police that she and Laude met a man in a nightclub, and Laude left with him despite feeling uneasy because the man hadn’t realized they were transgender. The friend has reportedly identified the Marine in a photo lineup.
“Hopefully they will surrender the identified soldier allegedly involved in the incident,” General Gregorio Pio Catapang, chief of staff of the Philippines Armed Forces, said at a televised briefing in Manila. “We have to give justice for his untimely death.”
The US Embassy released a statement saying, “We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”
Photo: The accused, Joseph Scott Pemberton.