8 Jul 2011

Sewer hunt for CNMI girls reflects fading hopes

6:50 pm on 8 July 2011

A hunt through the sewers of the Northern Marianas island of Saipan is thought to be a sign that hopes of finding two sisters who disappeared six weeks ago are fading.

Nine-year old Maleina and 10 -year-old Faloma Luhk were last seen waiting near a school bus stop at As Teo on May the 25th and a 50,000 US dollar reward has been put up for information on their whereabouts.

The police and FBI have searched a local landfill, underwater and cliff lines before turning this week to sewer manholes.

Our Saipan correspondent Mark Rabago says people now think it's less likely the girls will be found alive.

"There's some angles going around that there could be a revenge factor, one of the relatives trying to get back at the family, but there is really no hard evidence to back that up. Everything is just speculation right now."

Mark Rabago says the police search has been scaled down and the FBI are helping with behind the scenes work.