Coach J murder: Abandoned SUV, cellphone keys to solving murder 

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 04,2024 - 05:51 PM

Police have found items inside Jay Unchuan’s recovered vehicle, which they believe could provide leads on the persons responsible for her brutal death. | Contributed photo via Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Police here are optimistic that the murder of Coach J will soon be solved with the help of her abandoned vehicle and cellphone.

The body of Joel Jude ‘Coach J’ Unchuan was found dumped in a grassy lot in Naga City, southern Cebu last December 30.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), told reporters on Thursday, January 4, 2024, that they are optimistic that the gruesome murder of Coach J will soon be solved with the results of the forensic examinations of her vehicle and cellphone.

“When we have the result, katong sa mga forensic examination, we are positive nga naa na gyud tay ma-identify nga suspects no, hopefully,” he stated. 

According to Pelare, the victim’s vehicle has been submitted for forensic examination to gather more possible pieces of evidence that can help identify her killers.

READ: Coach J: Cebu’s ‘ultimate voice coach’, a genuine friend and an enigma

Police took custody of Coach J’s black sports utility vehicle (SUV) last Monday, January 1 which was abandoned near a carwash in Brgy. Yati in Liloan town.

The vehicle has reportedly been abandoned near a carwash in the area since December 31.

“Right now, we have submitted or forwarded ang mga ebidensya for forensic examination. Example, the vehicle was subjected to forensic exam para kung naa tay makuha didto nga mga fingerprints and other pieces of evidence,” said Pelare. 

He added that they were able to determine the whereabouts of Coach J prior to the incident through the car’s Global Positioning System (GPS). 

Pelare further disclosed that the SUV travelled from Cebu City to Lapu-Lapu City. Then, it returned to Mabolo, next to Mandaue before arriving in Naga City. 

However, they have not found any closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showing where the suspects possibly entered the vehicle, as well as the number of persons who went inside. 

According to Pelare, there is a big possibility that Unchuan was killed inside her SUV by one or two persons. 

He explained that this was because the SUV made a few stops for several minutes in some areas on its way to Naga. This led police to suspect that Unchuan was attacked at this time.

In addition to the car, police are also relying on the victim’s cellphone to see if there were previous exchange of messages between Unchuan and her killer.

READ: Two men spotted leaving vehicle of Coach J in Liloan

“One of the things that we are very hopeful is the cellphone which was also recovered and we have subjected it to forensic examination. Kay atong makita nga taas kaayog posibilidad nga ang atong suspect or suspects kaila sa victim,” said Pelare.

There is a big possibility that the murderer was an acquaintance of Unchuan, he disclosed. 

As of this writing, police continue to look into one to three possible motives behind Coach J’s death, including robbery.

“As of now, naa tay gi-entertain nga one or two or three motives pa nga wa pay definite. It could be robbery because the initial findings was that dihay amount of cash money nga nawa didto sa iyang pouch,” Pelare stated.

An estimated P30,000 cash was reportedly missing from the victim’s pouch.

Another angle they are exploring is personal grudge which is why they will be delving into Unchuan’s personal dealings and usual routine as provided by her family. 

READ: Cebu’s Sinulog Idol mourns passing of ‘ultimate vocal coach’

Police will also continue to conduct a tedious backtracking of CCTV footage in various areas. They will also be examining reports that two men were allegedly spotted leaving the victim’s SUV in Liloan.

Pelare said that the PRO-7 shares the public’s prayer in giving justice to Coach J. He, however, asked the public to give them ample time to to find the persons responsible for the murder of the beloved Sinulog Idol judge. 

READ: Radio broadcaster’s murder draws more condemnation

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TAGS: cellphone, Coach J, forensic, Murder, SUV, Unchuan

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