Marianas High School called off classes after a dead body is found on campus, with police in the CNMI saying it was murder. Efren Ballesteros was a security guard on night duty at MHS when police say he was killed.
Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jason Tarkong told KSPN2 News in Saipan that responding officers found the 45-year-old not breathing at the entrance to the school by an MHS employee. His body was taken to the Commonwealth Health Center where officials said that there is evidence on the body that the guard was beaten up.
The officer says the guard was most likely killed as a result of a break-in, noting how several classrooms had appeared to have been burglarized.
Lumi Bermudes says she was notified about the gruesome event at around 6am, making for a wake up call she wasn't expecting. She says this is the first time that a murder has happened on campus, saying, "We at all time try to keep our campus safe."
School was called off on Tuesday and students arriving to school were turned away. But there was no communication, according to some parents of MHS students. Many employees say they were tightlipped because they were waiting to be interviewed by police.
Bermudes says she is doing everything to make sure the police can conduct their investigation in a swift and efficient manner, saying, "Our priority is to make sure and ensure that when student get back on campus, everything returns to normal."
Bob Coldeen with KSPN2 News in Saipan contributed to this report