PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


10-YEAR OLD MARSHALLESE GIRL MURDERED IN ARKANSAS

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, Oct. 25) - Springdale Police believe the death of a 10-year old girl living in Springdale, Arkansas—whose parents live in the Marshall Islands—was intentional. The Marshallese girl, who was residing with guardian Abon Tili, 26, at Apartment 105, Building 3, Randall Road, died sometime between 10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, according to police investigators following a report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

[PIR editor’s note: According to KFSM news in Arkansas, as of Oct. 24, Police are questioning a new witness, Geronimo Langoria, in the murder of 10-year-old Emiti Freddy. Police are now questioning the Hispanic male they say may be witness in the investigation of the murder of the Marshallese girl. Geronimo Langoria is said to be cooperating with police at this time.

Abon Tili, Emiti's male guardian, was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree and his bond is set at US$100,000.

Meanwhile, friends and family are mourning the death of the young Springdale girl they describe as "a ray of sunshine." Autopsy reports revealed Monday morning that the manner of death was homicide by strangulation. The medical examiner also said the victim showed signs of sexual assault.]

Paramedics, who were called to the scene early Saturday morning about a child having breathing problems, could not revive the girl. Tili, the residence's owner, reportedly told police he had been drunk and had passed out. He was arrested for the felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. No arrests for the homicide have been made yet, report local news stations.

The girl's name has not been released, and police say they are trying to contact her biological parents in the Marshall Islands.

Police are still looking for another man and a three-year old child who were in the apartment Friday night along with Tili. Police have released a photo of the man and requested help from the community in identifying him. The Hometown News Channel is running a video about the crime, which includes a photo of the person.

Officers are still investigating, but need more information about why the girl was living with Tili and if there are other witnesses or people who can give information.

If you can help call Springdale Police Criminal Investigation Unit at 479-750-8139.

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