Revenge behind US citizen’s murder: Police

Denpasar Police investigators have questioned at least five people in relation to the murder of US citizen, Paul Robb Latourell, 51, who was found dead Monday.

Police suspect that the victim was stabbed by a friend and the murder was motivated by revenge.

Denpasar Police detective chief, Comr. Benny Murjayanto, told Bali Daily on Tuesday that they had questioned five people, friends and neighbors of the victim.

“Our initial presumption is that the victim was killed by a friend who wanted revenge as we found many wounds on his body,” Benny said.

Although the victim’s belongings, such as his car and cell phone, had also disappeared, the police were sure that the case was not a robbery. “In robbery cases, it is very rare that the suspect is stabbed repeatedly,” Benny said.

The external examination made by Sanglah Hospital found 117 wounds on Latourell’s body caused by blunt and sharp objects.

Benny said that the police had identified the suspect and were now pursuing him. He assured that the suspect was still in Bali, as he was optimistic that the victim’s car was also still on the island.

Yesterday it was reported that Latourell had been found dead by a friend in his house on Jl. Banteng in Denpasar with stab wounds to his body.

The police forensic team said they had found blood all over the room and stab wounds to Latourell’s chest and the left side of his neck.

The police arrived at the crime scene at around 2 p.m. Monday after receiving a call from Latourell’s friend, I Wayan Suwanto, who was later named a witness.

The witness found the body at around 12 p.m.

The head of Sanglah’s forensic unit, Ida Bagus Putu Alit, said that the hospital had yet to conduct an autopsy as of Tuesday. “We cannot conduct the autopsy without a request from the police and the family. We are still waiting,” Alit said, adding that the hospital had only conducted an external examination of the body.

Latourell’s death shocked LGBT and HIV/AIDS NGOs in Bali since he was known as a passionate and generous activist. Latourell and several other foreigners, including David Mendoza, Christopher Perks and Chadd McLisky, were listed on Yayasan Bali Peduli’s website as members of its steering committee. The foundation programs include clinical services, outreach/support for people living with HIV and HIV education. It also operates a clinic in Kuta to support the men who have sex with men (MSM) communities in Kuta, Seminyak and Denpasar.

Foundation executive director Tono Permana Muhamad said that Latourell actively assisted the foundation in organizing fund-raising events.

“He was a very good person who cared very much about getting health services for the LGBT communities.”

Tono and his friends plan to organize a memorial service for Latourell.

“I had known him since 2004 and my organization was not the only NGO that he helped.”

Yayasan GAYa Dewata director Christian Supriyadinata recalled that Latourell had actively assisted the foundation’s works in its early days.

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