Reah Mae Tocmo killing update: Suspects undergo DNA testing

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 04,2023 - 03:59 PM

Reah Mae Tocmo: woman in box habal-habal driver

A photo of Rhea Mae Tocmo taken from her Facebook page. Tocmo was found dead, stuffed inside a box and left at the side of the road in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City on Monday, July 17, 2023.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two suspects in the brutal killing of 19 year-old Reah Mae Tocmo have been subjected to DNA testing, a process that may provide evidence that may link them to the crime.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7), told reporters on Friday, August 4, that police had taken a DNA sample from the two persons under investigation: Simeon Gabutero Jr. and Roberto Hisman Gabison.

READ: Reah Mae Tocmo update: Murder victim seen arguing with man a day before she was found dead

Armed person alarm

One of the suspects, Gabutero was arrested by personnel of the Labangon Police Station on Saturday, July 29, during an armed person alarm in Barangay Guadalupe.

Gabutero admitted to being the person who sold the cellphone of the victim and told the police that he was allegedly following the instructions of his neighbor.

He claimed that Gabison was the individual who told him to sell the phone.

He also claimed that he allegedly saw Gabison arguing with the victim on the day that she went missing.

READ: Cebu City police collars suspect in murder of Rhea Mae Tocmo

Buy-bust operation

Gabison, on the other hand, was arrested in a buy-bust operation on Sunday, July 30.

Pelare saod that the forensics examination would prove the possible connection of the suspects to the pieces of evidence that the police had found at from the crime scene.

Both Gabutero and Gabison are now in the custody of the police as they continue to investigate the claims of both suspects.

READ: Reah Mae Tocmo: The kind, gentle woman whose dreams ended with her gruesome death, her body stuffed in a box

Significant development

Pelare cited significant development in the case of Tocmo as the police were making use of forensics in order to verify their theories.

He assured the general public that the case would be completed and solved soon.

“We are assuring the public, that we are near the completion of the investigation. In the days to come, we are going to file the case,” he said.

READ: Habal-habal driver key to solving Reah Mae Tocmo’s murder – police

Have faith in probe

Pelare also reminded the public to have faith in the investigation of the police and give them a little more time to make sure that the cases that would be filed would be airtight. 

“We understand the sentiments of the public. We want this case solved. Ganahan ta nga masolve ni (We want this to be solved) because this is a different case, very heinous crime. But our appeal is to just let the investigators do their thing,” he said.

Appeal to public

Once again, Pelare urged individuals who had any information on what happened to the victim and who was responsible for her death to approach the police.

READ: Police after person of interest in Reah Mae Tocmo’s murder

He also told them to avoid posting first on social media in order to avoid affecting the ongoing investigation.

“Katong naay mga personal knowledge sa nahitabo, we will be very glad if you coordinate to the police. If you have solid pieces of evidence nga makatabang sa imbestisgayon, ang among hangyo is moduol sa Cebu City Police Office para mahatag ang impormasyon,” he said.

(Those who have personal knowledge of what happened, we will be very glad if you coordinate to the police. If you have solid pieces of evidence that can help in the investigation, our appeal is go to the Cebu City Police Office so that you can give the information.) | with Mary Godinez, CTU Intern


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TAGS: DNA testing, Gabison, Gabutero, Reah Mae Tocmo, suspects

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