Dededo residents are “up in arms” following the recent abduction and rape of a 13-year-old girl on Monday, according to the village’s mayor, Melissa Savares,
Surveillance footage from Papa’s store in Dededo shows the minor girl walking into the camera’s view from the road and entering the establishment shortly after 8 p.m. on Monday. The girl does a little grocery shopping before walking out of the store about 7 minutes later. The store’s owner told PNC that the girl normally walks to the store with a relative but on that night she came alone.
The last thing the surveillance camera captures is the girl walking out of the store. After the girl walks out, she vanishes from the camera’s view and is not seen walking back the route she came.
It was in these moments following the girl walking out of the store that the unthinkable happened.
Police say that an unknown male, described as being Chuukese, approached the girl from behind and grabbed her before taking her into the adjacent private property, which was overgrown with thick vegetation, and sexually assaulted the minor.
Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares, who lives in the area, told K57’s Patti Arroyo that she heard the child’s screams for help.
“I was outside doing chores and I heard somebody screaming. It was a young girl. There were two of us because all of us congregated out in the street. I said I heard somebody screaming and our neighbors in the back said they heard the same thing,” Savares said.
Savares says the scream prompted her neighbor to call the police. At 8:42 p.m. police were seen in the store’s surveillance video arriving on the scene.
“But I will tell you … this whole neighborhood was up in arms. Everybody came out of their homes. Really, it’s an old neighborhood and it’s in the main village going towards Marine Drive. It’s a school zone and everybody came out. We were going through the jungle with the police at the same time,” the mayor recalled.
While no suspect was caught that night, Savares told Arroyo that police have reviewed surveillance footage from neighboring homes revealing a man present in the area. She says that the girl identified her attacker from a photo. Police, however, have not confirmed any persons of interest.
“I will tell you, that night, every person that was passing by was pulled over and questioned, even handcuffed at a point,” Savares said.
While a report indicated that there may have been more than one perpetrator in the case, Sgt. Paul Tapao, GPD spokesman, says that is not accurate.
Earlier today, PNC met with several residents in the area, all of whom said that the incident has left them concerned about safety.
One of those residents is Francisco Leon Guerrero who said: “It’s not that safe anymore because we have new people coming around from probably other islands. It could happen also from people here, but as far as I am concerned, yes, I feel that it’s not that safe anymore.”
Mayor Savares says her office is taking precautions by clearing areas of heavy vegetation which she says brings individuals who loiter and consume alcohol in the area. She added that this is a problem that she has seen before which has been actively working to remedy.