SATELLITE DATA NARROW DOWN ALLEGED TRIPLE MURDER LOCATION TO POSSIBLY MAIAO,

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NEAR TAHITI

PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (September 25, 2002 – Tahitpresse)--An analysis of satellite telephone system data suggests the alleged triple murder aboard the yacht "Hakuna Matata" may have occurred off the coast of Maiao, a small island 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) west of Tahiti.

The Rocky Mountain News in Colorado reported today that investigators were attempting to track the movements of the 55-foot catamaran before and after the three apparent deaths. The supposed victims are former National Basketball Association star Bison Dele, born Brian Williams, his girlfriend Serena Karlan, and French skipper Bertrand Saldo. All three disappeared in early July after sailing from Tahiti.

The only survivor from the boat, Dele’s brother, Kevin Williams, also known as Miles Dabord, is in a coma in the Scripps Memorial Hospital in Chula Vista near San Diego. The Los Angeles Times reported that Dabord remained in critical condition with severe brain damage resulting from an insulin overdose and failure to take his asthma medication.

The Rocky Mountain News reported that Tom Lopez, an investigator with Iridium Satellite, said that data from the yacht’s satellite phone system included information that "pinpointed the boat’s locations several times during the time frame that investigators are interested in.

"It shows the movements prior to and after the last reported siting of the boat," Lopez said. He explained that the system generally can place a satellite phone within three to five miles of its location.

Lopez told Tahitipresse he confirmed that the last call made by Dabord occurred when the "Hakuna Matata" was off the coast of Maiao (estimated population: 250), which is famous for the exceptional quality of its pandanus leaves, used for traditional Tahitian roof thatching.

Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News provided a precise description of the dramatic events aboard the catamaran provided by Dabord’s girlfriend, Erica Weisse, the last person known to talk with him after the three others disappeared.

The newspaper reported that "a U.S. law enforcement officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Weise’s statement to police.

According to the statement: "Dabord told her that he and Dele were fighting on the boat when Karlan and Saldo tried to stop them. Dabord said he accidentally punched both Karlan and Saldo. The punch knocked Karlan over. She fell, hitting her head on a metal cleat, killing her instantly.

"Saldo wanted to call for help, but Dele ordered him not to. When Saldo refused to listen, Dele slammed a wrench into Saldo’s head, killing him. Then Dele turned to Dabord, threatening him and saying he had to keep quiet about the killings."

The newspaper reported Weise saying Dabord told her that in self-defense he picked up a gun that was on board and shot and killed his brother. Weighing the bodies down, Dabord then shoved them overboard into the ocean, Weise claimed. That apparently occurred off Maiao, according to the satellite phone data.

Since Dabord is being kept alive only through artificial means in the California hospital, that leaves Weise as the only person investigators have to explain the mysterious events that took place aboard the "Hakuna Matata."

For additional reports from Tahiti Press, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources: Agence Tahitienne de Presse. 

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