Closed Circuit TV cameras show PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, and three other Marines were drunk when they entered a Ambyanz Disco in Olongapo City around 11pm on Saturday, October 11. They show Pemberton leaving the bar a few minutes later with Jennifer Laude and three friends. Pemberton is seen holding hands with Jennifer’s friend Barbie as they left Ambyanz for Celzone Lodge.
At around 11:35 Pemberton’s buddies were seen returning to the bar, looking for him. They asked the bar employees if they might know where he was. They had midnight curfew and had to get back to the ship.
One witness identified Pemberton from a photo line-up by Philippine National Police. That witness also identified the 26-year-old Barbie as a witness of interest. Both witnesses have asked for government protection. Barbie also identified Pemberton.
Barbie has told investigators that she was sent away by Jennifer, who sensed there might be danger because they were transgender, so she and another friend went to another room in the lodge. Barbie said that a room attendant (Elias Gallamos) knocked on their door around 11:45 to tell them that Pemberton had left, leaving the door ajar and Jennifer “passed out” in the bathroom of her room.
Jennifer was, in fact, dead. She had been strangled and drowned in the toilet. Autopsy listed the cause of death as asphyxiation by drowning.