24 May 2003

Solomon Islands police hunt for second suspect over murder

8:38 am on 24 May 2003

Solomon Islands police have confirmed that they are now seeking a second suspect for the murder of Australian missionary Lance Gersbach last Sunday.

Mr Gersbach, the business manager and acting CEO of the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital at Atoifi on Malaita was beheaded while working alone on a building site there.

Constable John Selwyn says one suspect, a man named as Silas Eddie Laefilemo, had been taken to the capital, Honiara, where he would be interviewed and formally charged.

Constable Selwyn says they had no trouble finding him because local chiefs provided 50 men to search for him.

He says Laefilemo, who is single and unemployed, and aged between 20 and 25, can be held for up to 14 days on remand.

A spokesman says police at Atoifi are now hunting a second man they think may have been associated with death.