One year ago, Ash Wednesday, people woke up to the news that Japanese pan player, Asami Nagakiya, was found dead under a tree in the Queen’s Park Savannah.
She was still dressed in her yellow costume having played mas on Carnival Tuesday in Port of Spain.
One year later, no one has been charged although the police have an idea who the killer is. Is it because the suspect is a relative of a high person in society? Is it because the police bungled the investigations from day one? Is it because the police have ignored all the eye witness accounts of Carnival Tuesday night?
But hear our acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams: his officers have not given up on the case, saying “there is still hope” that homicide detectives will make a breakthrough in the matter.
Williams was speaking to reporters while he and Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon walked the streets of Port of Spain on Tuesday, in a public relations exercise, to observe security arrangements that were put in place for the Carnival. Williams said officers continue to receive information regarding the murder and were continuously working towards solving it. “We have not closed that investigation. We continue to pursue it and as you would see, in 2017 we have been solving crimes from 2015 and 2014, because the officers do not stop investigating. As we get leads we continue to pursue those leads to the point of completion by having persons prosecuted, so yes, there is still hope,” said Williams.
With so many murders on his plate, Williams could offer no information on the investigations. Asami’s friends who came to Trinidad with her in 2016, did not return.
Why is this investigation so difficult?
Asami left the Silver Stars pan yard on Tragarete Road in company with a young man, walked north along Picton Street, She stopped at Picton Court where she was staying. Together with the young man, Asami stopped at Pollo Tropical, before crossing the road to the Savannah. She was last seen quarreling with the young man near the coconut vendor opposite Queen’s Royal College.
They walked into the darkness of the Savannah. That was the last time Asami was seen alive.
So what became of the young man? Was he ever questioned?
On Ash Wednesday, a man walking through the Savannah found Asami’s body and called the police. An autopsy revealed Asami was strangled and that she put up a struggle to the end. Skin from her killer was found under Asami’s finger nails. So who killed Asami?
And why? This seemed to be a love affair gone sour, or a rejection of a love affair.