Clues to Asami's killer revealed

Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya

ON February 10 three years ago, the body of Japanese national Asami Nagakiya was found at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.

Nagakiya, 30, an avid steel pan player who loved Trinidad and Tobago culture and had visited every year for almost a decade, was still in her Carnival costume from the Legacy mas band.

It was the first time in ten years of coming to T&T she had decided to play mas.

It would be her last.

Nagakiya’s body was found in the Savannah on Ash Wednesday, 2016. She had been strangled.

To date, no one has been charged with the murder. But police say the matter is still an open investigation and there is direct evidence to tie suspects to the crime.

What police have evidence of, for instance, is that her killer was left-handed, and missing between four and six front teeth.

Asami Nagakiya

Asami Nagakiya

However, the evidence has not linked any of the ten people who were detained, questioned, and eventually released.

Where are the witnesses?

Police believe that there was no way Asami could have walked to where her body was found, shortly after leaving her friends, without someone seeing who she was with.

The investigators have asked that anyone with information, however small or limited they may think it is, to contact the Homicide Bureau, or share the information anonymously through 482-GARY, 555 or 800-TIPS.

An autopsy performed by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov in 2016 revealed that Nagakiya was strangled. There was no conclusive evidence that she had been assaulted.

Alexandrov said that the marks of violence to her neck showed that her attacker was left-handed, and the bite marks on her cheeks showed that the attacker was missing teeth.

The bite marks were used to create a dental profile which was compared with the profiles of the original ten people who were detained and questioned.

Mayor raises uproar

Days after Nagakiya’s body was found, then Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee resigned office after an uproar was raised over controversial comments he made soon after Asami’s death.

Tim Kee, in an interview with the Express and TV6, said: “Women have a responsibility to ensure they are not abused during the Carnival season. It’s a matter of, if [Asami Nagakiya] was still in her costume...let your imagination roll.”

His comments referred to the responsibility of women in preventing their own abuse.

Asami's Carnival killing goes unsolved

Who killed her - Japanese national Asami Nagakiya

After initially trying to defend his statements, Tim Kee opted to resign as mayor.

In a statement, Tim Kee wrote: “I accept full responsibility for making the reference that cast a shadow on the death of Japanese national and pannist, Asami Nagakiya.”

What’s happening with the case?

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said that he had not received any recent updates on Nagakiya’s case and, as a result, he was not prepared to directly comment on the issue.

However, he assured that the T&T Police Service (TTPS) would be doing all within its power to ensure that the 2019 Carnival season would be one of the safest.

“We have been having several meetings with all of the various stakeholders, as it relates to security aspects for Carnival this year...since the beginning of the year actually. It’s not just a focus for Carnival Monday and Tuesday only.

We have about 200 events throughout the country and we are treating each and every single one as an operation,” Griffith said.

“So we approach stakeholders to ensure that police presence would be there, to ensure that there will be deterrents for criminal activities, especially with high police visibility, as well as plain clothed police at these events. We’ve also already met with NCC (National Carnival Commission) officials for the two days themselves (Carnival Monday and Tuesday), for the security aspects.

“I can tell you that we will be having VOCs (Venue Operation Centres) throughout the country for major areas, as well as an overall operation centre where all communication, video feeds, audio, talks with all arms of the Ministry of National Security will be taking place,” he added.


A dispute over 16 acres of north coast land is believed to have led to yesterday morning’s double homicide in Blanchisseuse.

Nigel “Garbu” Dedier, 51, and Mitchell “Frist” Evangelist, 31, were ambushed and shot dead shortly after 10 a.m. as they worked on the construction site of a house off the Blanchisseuse Main Road.

The site is located opposite the Blanchisseuse recreation ground and community centre.

A FAMILY of nine, which includes four children, is seeking help after a fire destroyed their home.

A lit candle is believed to have been the cause of the blaze.

Mitchum Rawlins yesterday pleaded for assistance for materials to be able to rebuild the home in Harmony Hall, Gasparillo.

“I don’t want no money in my hand. If anybody willing to donate anything and they willing to go to the hardware and pay for it for themselves, I would be gladly appreciative,” Rawlins said while speaking to reporters at the site where there was burnt debris.

A CHAGUANAS man was killed on the highway in Charlieville early yesterday.

Jesse John, 32, of Bagna Trace, Chase Village, was the driver and only occupant of the vehicle.

Around 1.20 a.m. officers of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Unit in Freeport responded to a road traffic accident on the northbound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway in the vicinity of Charlieville walkover.

MORE support has been thrown behind Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, for whom a petition was launched, this week, seeking signatures for her removal.

St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen, in a statement yesterday, said there were “a few persons out, fuelled by emotion, responsible for spreading propaganda on behalf of the PNM (People’s National Movement)”.

TRANSPORT Commissioner Clive Clarke says snaking traffic around the San Fernando and Caroni Licen­sing Offices is a direct result of public procrastination to seek vehicular inspection prior to the expiration of a two-year moratorium in December 2022.

Over the past week, the Express was told that hundreds of motorists ventured to both these offices to await inspection, some arriving as early as 3 a.m. in an attempt to receive service.

Recommended for you