MANILA, Philippines – Olongapo murder victim Jennifer Laude died due to “drowning,” according to an autopsy report released by authorities.
The autopsy report was completed on Wednesday, October 15 – 4 days after the transgender Filipino woman was found dead at Celzone Lodge in Olongapo City.
“Cause of death is due to asphyxia by drowning,” the report said.
It said that nail clippings were taken and submitted for DNA examination. Lung tissues were also submitted for histo-pathological examination, and blood, urine and stomach samples were taken for toxicology examination.
An earlier police report said Laude’s head “was leaning” against the toilet bowl while her “lower body was partially covered with a color cream blanket” since she was naked, when they arrived at the crime scene. Police said they saw injuries on Laude’s neck.
She was last seen checking in with a “male white foreigner,” later identified by witnesses as US Marine 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Laude’s family filed a murder complaint against Pemberton on Wednesday, October 15, before the prosecutor’s office in Olongapo City.
The city prosecutor will determine if there’s enough prima facie evidence to file murder charges against Pemberton in court.
Pemberton is currently under US custody, but the Philippines has said it will seek Philippine custody over the US serviceman, a request that the US can opt to deny.
Earlier, the US Embassy vowed to work with the Philippine National Police in the investigation.
Malacañang also vowed there would be no whitewash in the probe. – with reports from Randy Datu/Rappler.com
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