Lara: PNP autopsy made when Christine’s body was still ‘fresh’

By: Zena V. Magto April 08,2019 - 06:32 PM

Rocks placed on the very same area where the body of Christine Lee Silawan was found serves as a reminder of the heinous crime that has remained unresolved to date. /CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – With two opposing autopsy findings on the Christine Lee Silawan murder case, it will now be up to the court to decide which report to consider, said Dr. Benjamin Lara, chief medico legal officer of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).

But Lara stands by his earlier findings that Silawan was not raped before she was killed.

Read More: PAO’s autopsy findings: Silawan was raped, face burned with sulfuric acid

He called for a press conference this morning, April 8, to expound the findings of his autopsy report which was adopted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the lead agency that is now investigating Silawan’s killing.

Lara said that he did not find traces of mixed DNA on Silawan’s private parts during a cotton swab which he did a day after the church collector’s dead body was found in a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City early morning on March 11.

There we also no signs of hematoma, which referred to any injury or trauma, on the girl’s private parts.

“As far as my examination is concerned, I did not find any abrasion or hematoma” Lara.

Dr. Benjamin Lara

The PNP medico legal officer is confident that his findings were credible because he did his autopsy on Silawan’s body while it was still “fresh” or a day after the girl’s half-naked body was found.

However, Lara admitted that his findings is not enough to conclude that the girl was not sexually abused.

Read More: NBI-7 exec: Christine Silawan was killed around 6 to 7 p.m. on March 10

Lara also disputed the outcome of the autopsy conducted by the forensic team of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on the discovery of burn marks on Silawan’s eyes.  On the contrary, he said that the girl’s cornea remained intact.

But he agreed with the PAO autopsy report that acid may have been used to peel the skin from the church collector’s face especially since her skull was notably paler than normal.

“There is really a possibility that any corrosive or caustic agent was used in this case. But whatever it was, I cannot commit to that,” Lara said.

Lara said that it was also difficult to determine if Silawan was strangulated or tied because of the absence of ligature marks on her hands and neck. The small incisions found on her left hand were an indication that the girl tried to grapple for the knife or whatever sharp object was used on her.

“(There was) an incision wound on the palm of the left hand, which is highly indicative that she was grappling, she was struggling and was even able to grasp the knife… or the object that was used on her,” explained Lara.

Read More: 20 stab wounds, 9 defense wounds found on slain 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan

Lara said that it would seem impossible for Silawan to try to ward off the sharp object what was used to stab her if her hands were tied.

Still, he said, he will leave it up to the discretion of the court to decide which autopsy report they will find credible./dcb

 

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