‘Abducted’ couple from Minglanilla town found dead in San Fernando, Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A couple from Barangay Tubod in Minglanilla town was reported missing since Wednesday night, June 16.
Their bodies were found two days later inside their vehicle that was parked along the road in the mountain barangay of Tananas in San Fernando town that is located about 38 kilometers away from their place.
And businessman Gavino Sanchez, 49, and his wife, Arlene Sanchez, 47-year-public school teacher, were already dead when found past 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18.
Police Corporal Mario Paul Tino of the San Fernando Police Station said they found the couple after they acted on the information that was provided by Tananas residents on the presence of a parked vehicle in their area.
Tino said residents called their barangay hall Friday night to report that presence of a Strada pickup that was parked on the road for two days now and with its engine still on.
Foul smell was also notice to be coming from inside he vehicle, he said.
Barangay officials were the ones who called the San Fernando Police Station to seek police assistance. Barangay Tananas is located 30 minutes away from Barangay Poblacion where the police station is located.
Based on their investigation, residents heard at least six gun bursts at about 1 a.m. on Thursday or a day before the bodies were found.
When they opened the vehicle, they found the bodies of Gavino and Arlene on the back seat.
Police also recovered six empty shells and one fired cartridge inside the vehicle.
However, they were unable to locate the murder weapon.
A relative, who asked not to be named, told reporters that they do not discount robbery as the possible motive in the killing of Gavino and Arlene.
The couple, he said, is engaged in various businesses like catering, water refilling and lending while they also own an apartment.
After they were allegedly abducted somewhere in Minglanilla town at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Gavino went home at past 10 p.m. of the same day to retrieve cash and some items from their house. But he was alone then.
Gavino reportedly told his daughter, who was at home when he arrived, to always eat well. He then left saying that her mother was waiting outside.
As part of their ongoing investigation, Tino said, they continue to retrace when, where and how the alleged abduction happened since they were unable to find witnesses to corroborate the family’s claim.
Tino said that they only knew of the alleged abduction after Gavino’s daughter visited the Minglanilla Police Station at around 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, to file a missing person report. And as of this writing, all that the police know is based on the information that was provided by Gavino’s family.
Gavino’s daughter could not also say how much cash her father took from their vault and brought with him Thursday night.
“Ang sulti sa anak, alas 10 sa gabie niadtong June 16 niuli ang ilang papa nga nagdali dayun naay gikuha nga mga butang, mga 10 minutes daw. Nilakaw rapod dayun kay nagpaabot iyang asawa sa sakyanan,” says Police Master Sergeant Junyl Ater, desk officer of Minglanilla Police Station.
(The daughter said that her father came home at around 10 p.m. on June 16 to retrieve something and he only stayed in their house for about 10 minutes. He immediately left saying that his wife was waiting on the vehicle.)
As of this writing, policemen in San Fernando town continue to coordinate with their counterparts from Minglanilla town in their investigation of the killing of the Sanchez couple.
They are also waiting for the report from the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) personnel that processed the crime scene.
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