Police still investigating Saipan restaurant murders

Police tape surrounds the entrance of Rice Cake Best Food, a restaurant located in the San Antonio area. (Photo courtesy Marianas Variety)
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Authorities are still investigating the motive behind the double homicide in San Antonio, Saipan last week.

The Department of Public Safety announced that it has not ruled out robbery as a motive for the murder of two women in a restaurant in San Antonio.

“Officers are still looking into the case,” DPS spokesman Dre Pangelinan told Variety reporter Bryan Manabat. He added that crime scene technicians returned to the restaurant on Tuesday morning.

The victims, Ria Na Lim, 43, and Lim Hua Choi, 53, were found dead in Rice Cake Best Food Restaurant on Friday, December 13. Lim was the restaurant’s operator and Choi her employee.

DPS said an autopsy will be performed by a medical examiner. Meanwhile, investigators are reviewing surveillance footage from neighboring establishments and buildings.

DPS also added that “individuals close to the victims told police that both women always carried shoulder bags.”

Police were unable to locate the shoulder bags at the scene. Pangelinan said one of the bags is white with a floral design while the second is black.

DPS is asking the public to be on the lookout for the bags. Citizens with information can call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 664-9042, or, to remain anonymous, the CNMI Crime Stoppers Hotline at 234-7272.

According to the Variety, the families of the two victims are already in Saipan. Lim’s family was contacted by the Korean Consulate of Guam and by Saturday, her parents and sister arrived from Korea and are now planning funeral arrangements.