The already strained relationship between the United States military and the Japanese island of Okinawa is continuing to fray at the edges in the aftermath of a murder-suicide that took place over the weekend- and involved a US Navy Corpsman.
44-year-old Tamae Hindman, a native Okinawan, was stabbed to death by Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel Olivero, a 32-year-old corpsman, who took his own life after allegedly doing the deed.
Japanese authorities released information on the killing, claiming that it took place inside of a six-story apartment building in the Chatan area of Okinawa.
According to the Stars and Stripes, Hindman’s child reportedly watched the murder and called a relative, who in turn called the police.
The two had had spats in the past, and police had been called to the residence in October, after Olivero broke several items in her home during an argument. A few months later, Olivero allegedly raped her during a brutal breakup.
Despite a protective order forbidding the Sailor from contacting her, no piece of paper or legally binding order could save Hindman in the end, as Olivero ultimately decided that a murder-suicide was the appropriate answer to their strained relationship.
While the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was involved in the investigation, the Okinawa Police had the jurisdictional lead.
“Earlier this month, the Japanese Police closed their investigation due to lack of cooperation from the victim; however, [NCIS] continued with an active investigation into the alleged sexual assault,” Marine 1LT David Mancilla said in a statement. “At no time did the U.S. Military discourage the victim from talking with Japanese Police or filing an official complaint.”
One friend of Hindman said that the Military Police and local law enforcement did little to nothing to help her, and that Olivero was dangerous.
“Hindman tried to reach MPs to solve this issue, but Olivero did not stop harassing her and she was stressed,” the friend said in a statement to local media. “I know there are many kinds [of] servicemembers and US bases aren’t the issue here. This tragedy happened because MPs and the local police did not do their jobs. They took her problem too lightly…Why did they let the criminal out free?”
Okinawa has long had issues with US personnel since the end of World War II, with many locals showing outright resentment towards American personnel stationed on the island.
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