1 Jun 2011

FBI beefs up investigation into missing Saipan sisters

7:06 am on 1 June 2011

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is fielding an additional 20 special agents and support staff on Saipan, including a team of experts in the investigation of child abductions, that will look into the disappearance of two sisters.

The Guam FBI's supervisory senior resident agent Steve Moore says members of the Child Abduction Response Deployment Team will be joining the investigation.

The CARD program was developed by the FBI in 2005 to enhance its response to child abductions.

Moore says one of the assumptions is that the sisters, Faloma and Maleina may have been abducted, or another alternative is they could be hiding.

Acting DPS commissioner Ramon Mafnas says police officers, with assistance from CNMI and federal agencies, have been doing daily searches since Thursday last week.

In addition to the ground search, the US Navy and Air Force have been doing aerial searches using a helicopter and a C-130 plane.

Today marks the seventh day since 10-year-old Faloma and 9-year-old Maleina were reported missing.

The two were reportedly last seen sitting on a drainage cement slab near a bus stop pavilion in As Teo.