Japanese pannist killed in Trinidad

A Japanese national whose body was found under a tree at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Trinidad hours after carnival ended on Tuesday night was strangled to death (with bare hands) according to an autopsy report.

The police are waiting on further tests to determine whether she was raped.

Workers who were cleaning up the Savannah on Wednesday morning up after the two-day festival, found the body of 30-year-old Asami Nagakiya under a tree — a short distance away from where the Mas bands paraded at the Savannah Stage.

She was clad in a yellow bikini-type costume with beads.

Nagakiya, a pannist has been a regular visitor to Trinidad for Carnival and had joined the Silver Stars Steel Orchestra some five years ago and played with the band at the finals of the 2016 Panorama competition at the Grand Stand of the Queen’s Park Savannah on Carnival Saturday. The band placed sixth in the competition.

Leader of “Silver Stars” Cherisse Pouchet said Nagakiya came to the country every year with friends for carnival to play pan and enjoy the two-day celebration.

Her close friends said this was the first time Nagakiya played mas with the band “Legacy.”

Media photographers took photos of Nagakiya aboard a truck with her favorite steelband, “Silver Stars” on J’Ouvert morning (last Monday).

Nagakiya, who is from Hokkaido, Japan studied music at the Senzoku Gauken College of Music. She is described as a musician and steelpan player on her Facebook page.

Commenting on the murder Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said he was shocked to learn that the Japanese pannist was murdered adding, “this is a terrible development which reflects so badly on us because carnival is a time when we invite people to come and visit us and to party with us and to enjoy the culture.”

He said the killing could tarnish Trinidad and Tobago’s image. Homicide detectives are continuing investigations.

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