A 38-year-old man arrested in the death of a visitor from Oregon is a Marine based in Japan on temporary duty in Hawaii, the Marine Corps said Thursday.
Master Sgt. Nathaniel L. Cosby is an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He is assigned to the Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, based in Iwakuni, Japan.
Police arrested Cosby on Wednesday on suspicion of murder in the death of Ivanice "Ivy" Harris of Portland, Ore.
Harris was last seen outside a Waikiki bar May 16, police said. Her body was later found on the Leeward Coast. Authorities have not determined the cause of death, as the medical examiner’s office is waiting for additional test results.
Harris was vacationing in Hawaii with her boyfriend and a friend to celebrate her 29th birthday, said Andre Miller, a childhood friend acting as her family’s spokesman. He maintains a Facebook page under the title "BRING Ivanice HOME."
According to KOIN 6 News in Portland, Miller said he posted an ad on Craigslist Honolulu offering a $500 reward for the custom-made jewelry she was wearing. It is unclear how he knew it was missing.
Miller said a Missouri man contacted him, saying he had been vacationing in Hawaii and had the jewelry he was looking for.
The man said he got the jewelry from two individuals who approached him.
He told Miller he was on Craigslist looking for lost or stolen property because the jewelry was appraised for much more than what he paid.
Miller turned over the information to police in Hawaii and Missouri, KOIN 6 News reported, and shortly after, Cosby was arrested at Honolulu Airport.
Harris grew up in Oregon and was living in Las Vegas. She was planning to return to Portland, move back home with her mother and attend Mt. Hood Community College, Miller said.
"She wanted to change her life," he said. "She was hoping to settle down and be more family-oriented."
Harris’ boyfriend and friend don’t recognize Cosby and don’t know whether he was at Kelley O’Neil’s, the Waikiki bar where she was last seen, Miller said.
"We don’t know how she really came into contact with him," he said. "We don’t have any answers."
Her family is raising money to travel to Hawaii because they want to attend court proceedings in the case. Her funeral was held Monday in Portland.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is assisting police in the investigation, Lt. Col. David Griesmer, a spokesman for III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa, said in an email.
The Marine Corps takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and is fully cooperating with the investigation, Griesmer said.