Deep Dive

Shine A Light: Tuliana – I Still Send ‘Tua’ Messages

Tua’s clothes – a three-quarter denim pants, vest, underwear and flip flops – were recovered at different locations.
05 Sep 2020 13:08
Shine A Light: Tuliana – I Still Send ‘Tua’ Messages
From left to right: Tuliana Tinaimakubuna. Photo: Ivamere Nataro(left) and one of Tuliana’s message to Tua’s Facebook messenger after he disappeared (right).

It’s now 97 days since Eliki Yaco Junior, also known as Tua, mysteriously disappeared in the Ono-i-Lau waters.

Tua was reported missing on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at around 4pm. He had transported a couple, on his fibreglass boat Senata, using a 25 horsepower outboard engine, from a nearby uninhabited island called Mana. Villagers and visitors frequent the island for picnics.

The trio were on their way back to Nukuni Village, where Tua hails from. But when the boat arrived along the Nukuni shore, Tua was nowhere in sight.

The couple claimed he was bitten by a shark after they had stopped for a swim.

Tua’s clothes – a three-quarter denim pants, vest, underwear and flip flops – were recovered at different locations.

IN HAPPIER DAYS... Eliki Yaco Jnr. Inset: Items of Eliki Yaco Jnr that were found after his disappearance.

IN HAPPIER DAYS… Eliki Yaco Jnr. Inset: Items of Eliki Yaco Jnr that were found after his disappearance.

Crushed dreams

At her home in Nabaitavo Village, Naitasiri, Tuliana Tinaimakubuna is hopeful that ‘Tua’ would one day return and fulfil their plans for a life together.

Tua’s family had plans to traditionally ask for Ms Tinaimakubuna’s hand in marriage in July.

The 22-year-old said she still hadn’t accepted that ‘Tua’ was gone…To read more, subscribe to our e-edition.

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

TOMORROW: Villagers tell their story of Tua’s disappearance; Tua’s father wants justice; Shark attack or not? Shark expert Professor Ciro Rico tells, and more about Mana Island

Shine A Light is the Fiji Sun Investigative Project



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