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Military searches area where slain woman's body was found in Hawaii

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Military investigators have searched Hawaii’s Leeward Coast near the spot where a slain Las Vegas woman’s body was found, a case in which an Iwakuni Marine remains the prime suspect.

Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby, 38, of Jefferson, Ala., has been held at the Joint Brig Miramar–Detachment Pearl Harbor Brig on Ford Island since shortly after Honolulu prosecutors handed jurisdiction over to U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific on June 19, officials said. Cosby was initially arrested in the slaying of 28-year-old Ivanice “Ivy” Harris, whose body was found near Yokohama Bay on May 20, but was later released without charge.

Hawaii News Now television showed uniformed Army soldiers fanning out through the thick brush looking for evidence Tuesday. Prosecutors have said trying the case under the Uniform Code of Military Justice is “more advantageous” than under state law.

“I can confirm that a search was conducted near where the body was found but I cannot comment on any evidentiary matters,” NCIS spokesman Ed Buice said.

Harris’ body was found four days after she was last seen speaking with an unknown male outside a Waikiki bar on May 16. Her death was the result of neck injuries, according to news reports.

Cosby is an explosive ordnance disposal technician who had been assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron-171 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and was in Hawaii on a temporary duty assignment, Marine officials have said. He has been in the Marine Corps since 1998 and has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His last combat tour was in 2011.

Cosby has been administratively transferred to U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific at Camp Smith, officials said. Marine officials could not be reached for comment as to how long Cosby could be held without charge.

burke.matt@stripes.com

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