Investigation into Marau murder case of October 2023 yet to complete


Investigations into a murder case at Marau, south east of Guadalcanal, in October last year is yet to complete.

Constance Manepania is charged with one count of murder. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

The case was heard on Wednesday 3rd April.

Prosecution had informed court in the previous hearing that the file had been transferred to the Henderson police for further investigation.

Henderson police also told court then that they had gone to Marau on March 12 and during their investigations they found some new developments to the case.

Prosecution also told court they are expecting a co-accused to be involved in this matter, though, this will be confirmed when the investigation is completed.

Investigators have collected 20 statements. The outstanding documents yet to be filed include the autopsy report, photo album of the autopsy, crime scene album and the record interview to be signed by the accused.

Court adjourned the matter for April 9, instructing both parties to ensure the outstanding documents are available by then. Prosecution was also instructed to provide defence with full disclosures.

Remand warrant for Manepania was extended.

Police alleged October 8, 2023 late in the evening, the deceased and some of her relatives boarded a canoe to an island called Ravi within the Marau area to sleep over for fishing during the night time.

Next day at about 8am, the deceased and two other relatives boarded another canoe to the mainland to collect food and water for the group on the island.

When they reached mainland, they dug some swamp taro, refilled some containers of water.

At about 4pm the deceased and the other girls loaded their canoe and departed for Ravi Island.

About few metres from the mainland the deceased complained that her body was not feeling good, and was afraid to go to Ravi island, so she decided to stay back on the mainland.

The other girls left the deceased along the shore so that she could walk back home.

The deceased then left Tawanikeni village along the sea shore back to her village Kompa’u.

Prosecution alleged that it was on her way back to her home village that the accused attacked her.

A witness who was on his way along the airport that day heard a sound of a crying person. When the witness got closer to where the crying sound came from, he saw Manepania holding a bush knife in his right hand.

Manepania led the witness to where the deceased was lying unconscious then he stepped onto the deceased’s forehead and squeezed the neck of the deceased until she stopped breathing.

After that Manepania demanded and ordered the witness to take the dead body down to the sea and sink it.

The accused allegedly threatened the witness to carry out this act, saying he would cut the witness with the bush knife if he did not comply

Police at Marau received a report of the incident on October 10, 2023, when villagers around Marau area saw the deceased’s body washed ashore in front of the Conflict Lodge.

Jonathan Auga appears for Crown and PSO for act for Manepania.

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