A mother of five is the latest rape-slay victim in Negros Occidental since Sunday, the police said yesterday.
The body of the latest victim, identified as Margarita de la Costa, 37, was found buried in a ricefield by the suspect, on Wednesday, a day after she was reported missing by her husband, in Sitio Alimatok, Brgy. Celestino Villacin, Cadiz City.
Supt. Santiago Rapiz, Cadiz police officer-in-charge, said initial investigations showed that the victim had been molested, and strangled to death then hastily buried naked in a ricefield.
He cited the results of the post-mortem examinations on the body by the City Health Office.
Rapiz said the suspect, who was identified by a witness as Omar Catalan, could not be found at his home in Sitio Siwahon 2 in the barangay.
Police investigations also showed that Catalan had been imprisoned for almost five years, allegedly for molesting two minors in Sagay. However, he was recently released from jail as the complainants did not press the charges against him.
Rapiz said they received information that de la Costa was passing their ricefield on her way home on Tuesday, when she was waylaid, molested and allegedly killed by the suspect.
Her clothes were buried several feet from where her body was unearthed by her husband, Rolando, and relatives.
Rape with homicide charges are now being readied by the police for filing against Catalan.
Three days earlier, a teenage household helper and a 42-year-old woman were molested and killed in the cities of Bacolod and Bago. The two suspects were immediately arrested and charged with rape with homicide.
Chief Insp. Simeon Gane also reported yesterday the apprehension of Moises Avenido, 41, in Brgy. Balingasag, Bago City, by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of acts of lasciviousness.
Gane, who is the Bago police officer-in-charge, said Judge Frances Guanzon has recommended P80,000 as bail for Avenido, who is now in jail.*GPB