Two arrested in 2012 stabbing death of US Marine in Philippines

Two fugitives in hiding for more than five years after being freed following the 2012 stabbing death of a U.S. Marine in the Philippines, have been re-apprehended.

The suspects, identified as Crispin dela Paz and Galicano Datu III, have been charged in the death of Maj. George Anikow, a 41-year-old married father of three who had moved to the Philippines with his family from New Jersey after serving in Afghanistan, the New York Daily News reported.

The suspects, identified as Crispin dela Paz and Galicano Datu III, initially avoided prison time because a judge, who was later dismissed for “oppressive disregard” of evidence, had downgraded the original murder charge and granted the suspects probation, the Daily News reported, citing local reports.

After the judge’s removal, new arrest warrants were issued, but it took years to track down the two men.

Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, tweeted early Monday that the re-apprehension of the suspects brings “some measure of justice to this senseless crime.”

An obituary that appeared in the Asbury Park Press in 2012 said that Anikow was born in Howell, N.J., but later lived in Hendon, Va., before moving to the Philippines the year he was killed.

“George was the best of us all,” the obituary read, “he was a devoted family man, a loving son, a great friend, and a true patriot.”