Tuesday, September 9, 2008

3 suspects held over murder of UMS student

Sept, 7 2008
Kota Kinabalu: Three local people, one of them a suspected pirate taxi driver, have been detained in connection with the murder of a 22-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student.

A taskforce specifically formed to investigate the murder made the first arrest in Tuaran on Wednesday, less than a week after the body was found, and subsequently hauled in the rest in Kota Marudu.

Sabah Commissioner of Police Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suspects, in their 20s, were remanded for four days for investigations under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

He said police were confident of wrapping up the probe. "We are in the process of completing the investigations," he said, Saturday.

He said police believe the decomposed body that was found in Tuaran were the remains of UMS student Sherliana Gediun, but pointed out they were still waiting for a DNA report to confirm her identity.

A final year student at the School of Education and Social Development, Sherliana left home at Kampung Damai in Kota Marudu where she spent her holidays on Aug. 22 but never reached the university.

She was last seen by her mother and younger brother who sent her to the Kota Marudu bus terminal, where she took a van, believed to be a pirate vehicle, destined for the capital.

A pupil made the horrifying find of the badly decomposed body while walking to school at Sulaman in Tuaran on Aug. 28.

In light of the arrests, Noor Rashid has ordered a check on all private and pirate taxi operators Statewide.

"We believe one of the suspects detained is a pirate taxi driver," he said.

It is believed the inspection is intended to ascertain if the drivers, especially those operating pirate taxis, have any criminal records.

Meanwhile, Sabah Officer in-Charge of Crime Investigations (OCCI) SAC II Zainal Abidin Kasim disclosed that a host of personal items belonging to the victim were not found on the body.

"We could not trace the belongings É it would be good if we can find the items to tie them to the case," he said.

He urged the public who had obtained dubious goods, or who have any information on the student's belongings to contact the State police immediately at 088-450222 (General Line).

Daily Express Sept 7, 2008

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