National / Crime & Legal

Okinawa police knew of problems between woman and U.S. serviceman before she was murdered

Kyodo, AP

The U.S. military had informed local police in Okinawa in January of concerns about the relationship between a U.S. serviceman and a Japanese woman, and police had apparently been trying to confirm her safety, before both of them were found dead at the weekend.

The U.S. Marine Corps on Monday revealed that the dead U.S. serviceman was 32-year-old Gabriel Olivero from North Carolina.

According to Japanese authorities, the U.S. military police contacted them in late January and told them there were problems in the relationship between the 44-year-old woman and the man.

Police officers met her multiple times in January and February to ensure her safety. When they called her in mid-March, she said there were no issues between the two at that time and that she was doing alright.

Olivero and the woman were found dead on Saturday at an apartment in the town of Chatan in Okinawa Prefecture, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan. The Foreign Ministry said the same day he fatally stabbed the woman and then killed himself.

U.S. Forces Japan has said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was working with local police to probe the deaths.

“This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed to supporting the investigation,” it wrote in a statement Saturday.

On Saturday, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba telephoned U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, asking for cooperation with the investigation and to make efforts to prevent a recurrence, and expressed “extreme regrets,” the Foreign Ministry said.