Marine Found Stabbed on Base in Japan; Two Americans Held
TOKYO (AP) _ A U.S. Marine sergeant’s body was flown home Wednesday, a week after he was found floating in a drainage ditch with multiple stab wounds, military officials said.
Two people are being held in the killing of Sgt. Michael A. Allen, 22, of Pittsburg, Calif., at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, near Hiroshima in western Japan. Military officials identified them only as Americans.
Relatives of Allen reached by telephone said he had complained of ethnic harassment and had been restricted to base after getting into a fight with another Marine who provoked him with ethnic jeers. Allen’s heritage is largely Hispanic.
Base spokeswoman Maj. Katie Haddock said, however, that investigators had not found any sign that the killing was ethnically motivated. She said the motive was unclear.
After being found by another Marine on May 4, Allen’s body was transferred to a military hospital in Okinawa for an autopsy, which was completed Saturday, Haddock said.
Allen’s relatives have complained the military has been slow to release information about the killing, but Haddock said officials were concerned about jeopardizing the investigation.
The case is being handled by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, which is staffed by civilians.
Allen had been stationed in Japan since July. He had been scheduled to return home within two months to be reunited with his girlfriend, Maggie Martinez, and their month-old daughter, Vanessa, whom he had never seen.