A 25-year-old woman was found dead and is also believed to have been raped in a sugarcane plantation in Brgy. Luna, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, yesterday.
Cadiz City police chief, Supt. Noel Mana-ay, identified the victim as Christine Marie Marquez of Purok Kawayanan in Brgy. Luna.
Mana-ay said sugarcane plantation workers found Marquez lying on her back with multiple stab wounds and a slash on her throat at about 6 a.m. and immediately reported it to the police.
He said it is possible that Marquez was raped because her pants and underwear had been pulled down to her knees.
Investigation showed that the suspect or suspects may have been waiting for Marquez, who was employed as a cashier of a cellular phone store in Cadiz City proper to arrive, then dragged her towards the sugar cane plantation that is about 200 meters from the highway, where they raped and killed her.
Residents living near the area where the body was found told the police that they heard someone calling for help but ignored it because the rain was pouring very hard.
The cellular phone of the victim was found in the pathway of the sugarcane plantation, where she probably dropped it while trying to fight off her attacker or attackers, Mana-ay said.
The strands of hair, recovered from Marquez’s hand when her body was found, have been submitted to the crime laboratory of the Philippine National Police, he said.
As of yesterday, the Cadiz City police had invited two men for questioning.
One of them was Joemar Tapil, “alias Bimbol”, 31, Marquez’s neighbor who, her aunt Teresita Gepana said, was courting and harassing her niece.
Another was Antonio Rustia, also Marquez’s neighbor, who had been seen standing by an electrical post near the sugarcane plantation, where Marquez was found dead.
However, in a television interview, Rustia denied participation in the crime.
Marquez, who was temporarily staying with her grandparents, was the breadwinner of her family and was a mother of a 3-year-old girl.*APN