U.S. Marine charged with murder in death of transgender woman in Philippines

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

Manila, Philippines (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.

Pfc. Scott Pemberton is in U.S. military custody. Prosecutors will ask for him to be turned over to Filipino authorities, said Harry Roque, the lawyer for the victim's family.
The victim is 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude, who is also known as Jennifer.
    Her naked body was found with her head in a toilet in an Olongapo hotel room shortly after midnight Sunday, police said.
    Witnesses told police that Pemberton was with Laude at a local disco before the two checked into a hotel Saturday night, according to documents seen by CNN.
    "We will not accept anything less than justice," said the victim's sister Marilou Laude.
    The Marine 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.