U.S. Marine identified as suspect in transgender woman's death in Philippines

A protest takes place on October 14, 2014. at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, against the killing of a transgender.

Story highlights

  • Philippine police: Private First Class Scott Pemberton will be charged with murder
  • He is suspected in the death of 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude, also known as Jennifer
  • Police report: Laude's body showed signs of strangulation
  • Her body was found with her head in a toilet
Philippine police have identified the U.S. Marine suspected of killing a transgender woman in a hotel.
Private First Class Scott Pemberton will soon be formally charged with murder, Philippine National Police Senior Superintendent Wilben Mayor said Tuesday.
The Marine was being held on a warship after the death of the transgender woman in an Olangapo hotel room. Police identified the deceased as 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude, also known as Jennifer.
Her naked body, which showed signs of strangulation, was found with her head in the toilet shortly after midnight Sunday, according to a police report of the incident.
A witness at the hotel reported seeing Laude with an "unidentified white male foreigner" with a "marine style hair cut" entering the room together.
Another witness told police the two had been seen together at a nearby disco club.
Because no charges have yet been filed, U.S. officials have not identified the Marine, who is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
"The Marine Corps is working closely and cooperating fully with the Philippine National Police to ensure a thorough investigation is completed and due process of law is followed," Col. Brad Bartelt, spokesman with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, said in a statement.
Three other Marines from the same unit have been identified as potential witnesses, the Marine Corps Times newspaper reported, citing an internal Navy memo on the incident. They are being held.