Mother of 17-year-old girl, who was found dead in Toledo City, cries for justice
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Anna Maria Flores did everything that she could to raise her seven children, including Sharmaine, whose half naked body was found in a grassy area in Purok 2, Barangay Bunga in Toledo City, Cebu early on Friday morning, August 25, 2023.
Anna Maria said that she was devastated with what happened to her sixth child and only daughter.
The single mother is appealing for justice for the brutal death of her 17-year-old daughter, who was believed to have also been raped because her undergarments were pulled to her knee when her body was found.
“Gusto lang ko mangayo ninyo og tabang. Tagaan nako siya og hustisya. Madakpan ta ang nagbinuang sa akong anak. Mao ra jud na usa nga [akong] gipangayo,” she said as she cried.
(I am just asking for help. We’ll give her justice. The person who did this to my daughter will be arrested. That is one of the things that I am asking.)
Anna Maria also urged whoever killed Sharmaine to surrender to the police.
“Manghinaot ko na makonsensya ka sa gibuhat nimo sa akong anak. Mo-surrender lang intawn ka dong, maluoy intawn ka,” she said.
(I hope that your conscience will bother you for what you have done to my child. Please surrender, take pity on us.)
As of this writing, police in Toledo City continue to investigate Sharmaine’s killing as they also look for the suspect.
Police Major Nolan Tagsip, information officer of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said that a manhunt operation was ordered by Police Colonel Noel Flores, the OIC CPPO Director, to ensure the immediate arrest of Sharmaine’s killer.
“Our officer in charge has already issued a directive to conduct investigation, conduct investigation on this. And then mag-conduct og (conduct a) hot pursuit for the possible arrest of the suspect,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, police said they already identified a person of interest (POI) in Sharmaine’s murder.
Police Senior Master Sergeant Benjoe Pat, desk officer at the Toledo City Police Station, said the POI was invited to the police station for questioning. But he was not at liberty to divulge the POI’s name.
Sharmaine, a Grade 12 student who dreamt of becoming a doctor, was last seen alive when she left their house on Thursday evening, August 24, to go to a nearby store to buy load.
When she failed to immediately return home, her brother, Wesley Flores, said he thought that she went to see the nuns at the convent where she worked.
“Abi man namo naa siya sa madre. Kay og dili na siya mouli, adto na siya magtulganan sa madre. Abi man namo’g didto siya natulog maong wa namo pangitaa,” Wesly said in an interview with radio station dyHP.
(We thought that she went to the nuns. Because if she would not come home, she will sleep in the (convent) of the nuns. We thought that she slept there that was why we did not look for her.)
Anna Maria said she started to worry and look for Sharmain late on Thursday night, but never found her.
Early on Friday morning, she received news from relatives that her daughter was found dead in a grassy lot in Purok 2, located about 100 meters away from their residence.
Her undergarments were pulled down to her knees when found.
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