A protester takes part in a rally at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, on October 14, 2014, to condemn the killing of a Filipino transgender woman.
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
A protester takes part in a rally at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, on October 14, 2014, to condemn the killing of a Filipino transgender woman.

Story highlights

Scott Pemberton is suspected in the death of 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude, also known as Jennifer

Laude's body showed signs of strangulation

Her body was found with her head in a toilet

(CNN) —  

A U.S. Marine has been charged with murder in the death of a transgender woman who was found strangled in a Philippines hotel room over the weekend.

Private First Class Scott Pemberton will soon be formally charged with murder, Philippine National Police Senior Superintendent Wilben Mayor said Tuesday.

The victim is 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude, who is also known as Jennifer.

Laude’s naked body was found with her head in a toilet in an Olongapo hotel room shortly after midnight on October 12, police said.

Brisbane transgender murder-suicide shocks residents

Witnesses told police that Pemberton was with Laude at a local disco before the two checked into a hotel on the night of October 11, according to documents seen by CNN.

“We will not accept anything less than justice,” the victim’s sister, Marilou Laude, said.

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.

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.