By: L.N. Reklai
January 23, 2017 (Koror, Palau) – Inis Remoket, the estranged husband of the missing woman Ochob Jaycee Soto Iyar, was arrested and charged for the alleged murder of his wife, who has been missing since September 17, 2016.
Mr. Remoket was charged with two felony counts, Murder in the Second Degree and Manslaughter. Murder in the Second Degree charge is punishable by life imprisonment with possibility of parole and fine of up to $50,000 dollars. Manslaughter charge is punishable by 1 to 25 years imprisonment with possibility of parole and up to $50,000 in fines.
According to Officer Virginia Umayam , an officer assigned to the case from the Belau Drug Enforcement Taskforce, Remoket admitted to being with his wife on the night of the September 17th but stated that he blocked out around midnight. He said he woke up the next morning at 5am in the passenger side of his car and had no memory of what happened after he passed out.
In his report to the police, Remoket stated that he had called his wife the next day trying to find her but received no reply. Review of the phone records show no incoming calls to Ochob’s phone from Remoket or outgoing calls from the same phone after September 17.
Furthermore, there were no other communications from defendant Remoket to Ochob after September 17 when weeks leading to the disappearance, there were regular communication from defendant to Ochob.
Officers further interviewed Veralynn Kumaichi, a friend of Ochob who reported that she had gone to Sunset Park with Ochob and defendant Remoket on the night of September 17 and had seen them fighting. Another witness, Takisang Iyar reported seeing Remoket pushing Ochob to the ground at Sunset and had gone to intervene on the same night.
Ochob’s boyfriend, Mr. Tolenoa Tulensru also admitted to seeing Ochob and her husband on the same night. According to report, Ochob has left her husband in July and has been with Mr. Tulensru.
Mr. Remoket further admitted to lying to various people, including babysitter Margie Katnag about the whereabouts of Ochob. Babysitter Katnag reported babysitting the children on the morning of the 18th and Mr. Remoket was not in his car nor in his driveway and that he came home at around 8am.
Ignacio Ngirmeriil, a co-worker of Remoket at the Koror Solid Waste , reported that when he came to work on the morning of the 18th, Remoket was sleeping. He woke up and he appeared to have been drinking but he seemed sober and in control of himself.
According to Ngirmeriil, defendant was wearing a clean shirt but his pants looked like it had blood stains. When he asked him if he had hurt himself, he said that he had chased and killed a cat that night and that he was not hurt.
Additionally, when Remoket left, Ngirmeriil found two rings near where Remoket was sitting. The rings were compared to ones Ochob was wearing pictured on facebook and found to be similar rings.
Interviews with a lot of people including records from hospital and the police showed that defendant Remoket had threatened and assaulted Ochob in the past. The most recent hospital report was in June 2016 where Ochob was treated for a head wound inflicted by defendant Remoket.
Extensive search of the Koror State Solid Waste site area as well as various water locations around Koror have not led to Ochob Jaycee Soto Iyar or her remains.
At his arraignment yesterday, defendant’s bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 surety. He was ordered to follow all the laws of the Republic of Palau including maintaining the curfew from 10pm to 6am. Associate Justice Oldiais Ngiraikelau expressed during the arraignment that he will not tolerate any breach of the law.
Evidences in the affidavit of probable cause are circumstantial evidences and with no body or remains found, this will be the first murder case in Palau to be tried base primarily on circumstantial evidence. [/restrict]