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February 17, 2006
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Officers returns to work after first triple homicide in commonwealth

The Associated Press

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands- A wounded police officer who shot and killed the suspect in the first triple homicide in this U.S. commonwealth returned to work Thursday.

Officials haven't released the names of the victims, but relatives identified them as South Korean nationals Kim Hee Soo, his daughter-in-law Zeon Young Mi and her friend Lee Yeon Zung.

Kim's body was discovered outside his house in San Antonio, while the women were found in a bedroom, officials said. All had received multiple stab wounds, they said.

A motive for the slayings was under investigation, said Maj. Edward H. Manalili, chief of the Department of Public Safety's Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Officer Victor Hocog sustained a cut to his elbow and a stab wound in his left side Wednesday when he was attacked by the unidentified man at the scene of the killings, police said.

Zeon's husband left Saipan earlier this week to work in Malaysia, a neighbor said.

"This is the worst homicide case I've seen in the past 20 years, I think," said Clyde K. Norita, a former lawmaker and deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Norita said the department's investigation should involve working closely with the commonwealth's Division of Immigration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

With a population of 51,000, the Northern Mariana Islands are located about 3,800 miles (6,114 kilometers) southwest of Hawaii.

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