Search for missing sisters in CNMI suspended
The search for two Japanese visitors to the Northern marianas has been suspended.
The search for two Japanese visitors to the Northern Marianas has been suspended.
Police believe the Japanese sisters, 26 year old Chinatsu Yamada and 33 year old Natsuki Yamada, drowned while night swimming at Saipan's Wing Beach.
Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, spoke to Daniela Maoate-Cox about the island wide search.
MARK RABAGO: It's been I think ten days since the two Japanese sisters, Natsuki Yamada and Chinatsu Yamada were reported lost on Saipan so yesterday the department of public safety has already suspended its search for the two missing sisters because they just can't find them. An almost island wide search was conducted, they used resources not only of the police, but also CNMI office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the US Navy and the US Coastguard, all co-operated in combing the beaches and also the waters off the north of Saipan but to no avail. They just cannot seem to find where the sisters were and are not able to see the remains.
DANIELA MAOATE-COX: They did use a replica of a human body to see if the sisters may have drifted somewhere else, did anything come out of that?
MR: Nothing. They used, yes you're correct, a device to see where the waters go and it went south but there are a lot of crevices under the water and if somebody gets trapped there it's going to be hard for it to come up.
DM-C: The search has been suspended, could it be started up again? What will happen now?
MR: Well the police just said that although the search has been suspended, the investigation into the disappearance itself will continue but the fact they haven't seen a body after two days probably leads to the conclusion that they won't be able to see a body. If the two sisters indeed went night swimming on the June 29 and the morning of June 30 then there's no hope for them.
DM-C: How was it discovered that they were missing?
MR: Well on Monday the two sisters were supposed to leave for Japan, when their flight left and they didn't check in the tourist agents alerted police and Mariana Resort where they were staying. After a few hours they located the rental car that the two sisters were using on Wing Beach together with their passports, their wallets and all other valuables. They also looked at the rooms the sisters stayed in and basically all their valuables are there which led law enforcers to conclude that the sisters are missing.
DM-C: Is it a dangerous area the place where they went swimming?
MR: I've been there quite a while, the waters are rough. The water just goes down immediately without any warning so if you go swimming there it's going to be difficult. Also they found the two sisters brought an inflatable raft with them so there's a strong possibility that the two sisters went on a raft, went swimming and probably went overboard their small raft and drowned.
DM-C: That sounds like a terrible situation to be in, has anything been heard from the family at all?
MR: The family were here a week ago, two days after the disappearance but they didn't want to talk to media. Japanese media came down here and interviewed some people and after a couple of days, there was no trace so then they left. We shouldn't forget that Japan has long been one of the CNMI's number one tourism market so this is a big thing. Hopefully it won't diminish the interest of Japanese tourists coming here to Saipan.
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