MANILA, PHILIPPINES - A U.S. Marine is being held on board a U.S. warship Monday in connection with the death of a transgender individual in the Philippines, military officials said.
According to the Marine Corps Times, 26-year-old Jeffrey Laude was found strangled to death Saturday night in a motel in Olongapo City. Laude's friend, who accompanied Laude and a "foreigner," reportedly told police they had been at a local disco bar. After arriving at Celzone Lodge, Laude became uneasy and asked the friend to leave before "the foreigner could discover that they were transgenders."
The North Carolina-based Marine, whose identity has not been released, is being held on board the USS Peleliu while agents investigate. Adm. Samuel Locklear III, head of U.S. Pacific Command, ordered the Peleliu and another warship to remain in the former U.S. base of Subic Bay pending the investigation.
Thousands of U.S. troops are in the Philippines for PHIBLEX 15, a multinational exercise.