File photo showing the Institute of Forensic Sciences (ICF) in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan.
Photo: Ricardo Arduengo / Getty Images
PUERTO RICO – The Institute of Forensic Sciences (ICF) confirmed this Tuesday that the calcined body found on Sunday in Vega Baja belongs to the American tourist Tariq Quadir Loat, who was reported missing on Saturday after being seen for the last time in the La Perla community, San Juan.
“It was possible to establish through the analysis and comparison of fingerprints that the body found in the municipality of Vega Baja corresponds to Tariq Quadir Loat. In this way, the Institute of Forensic Sciences was able to carry out a legal and scientific identification in this case ”, indicated the director of the ICF, María Conte Miller.
Dr. José Serrano, who was in charge of the autopsy, concluded that the cause of death was from a gunshot wound. The data coincides with police reports about a call to the 9-1-1 Emergency System that alerted about detonations that afternoon.
While, Captain Luis Díaz, head of the Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC) of San Juan, indicated that although the official cause of death has not been established, it confirmed that the body found in Vega Baja did present two bullet wounds, in addition to burns.
“The investigation was already underway, because it was suspected that it was him, although official and scientific confirmation was needed for the required process, but we continue with the investigation and corroboration of information that is emerging,” said Díaz.
A woman, a partner of the victim, had come to the ICF facilities on Monday to interview and identify the remains, but could not carry out the identification at the time because she was not legally married to Loat.
The ICF required the woman to search for Loat dental plates or have the victim’s mother sign a legal document authorizing her to complete the body identification and claim process.
Meanwhile, the investigators were taking steps on their part to establish other means of scientific identification, such as the use of fingerprints, based on the fact that Loat had a file with the authorities in the United States.
He was last seen on Saturday at La Perla
Loat, a resident of the state of Delaware, had been seen for the last time on San Miguel Street # 3 in La Perla, in the afternoon of Saturday.
That night, in a press release, the Police Commissioner, Antonio López Figueroa, reported that two tourists were attacked “by individuals who were in La Perla, after buying illicit drugs and trying to take photos there.” One of the tourists was able to leave La Perla and required hospitalization.
That was the version offered by the other man who accompanied Loat, identified as James Jackson.
For his part, the head of the CIC indicated that they have begun to corroborate this and other information that the investigators have begun to receive.
“Everything is being corroborated. What they said was because of some photos, that if they went to buy drugs, everything is being corroborated, because more information will continue to emerge, ”said Díaz, without going into details of other versions they have known.
On the one hand, they are trying to get interviews with citizens in La Perla, starting with the owners of the vehicles that were hit by the rented car in which Loat and his friend were traveling.
On the other hand, “we continue to search the security cameras in the areas to identify any vehicle” in which Loat has been transported to Vega Baja, said Díaz.
Jackson alleged that after being attacked, he managed to get to Norzagaray Street in Old San Juan where he sought help and received medical assistance.
Díaz said that although Jackson went to the United States, he maintains communication with him through his wife.
“I have not spoken with him, because his telephone does not work, but I have spoken with her personally and we hope to have his collaboration in the investigation,” he said.