Cebu native slain in New Zealand

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014


CEBU CITY -- A 56-year-old Cebu-native, who went missing for two days, was found dead in a cemetery near her home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Police found the body of Blessie Gotingco, a mother of three, in the bushes of the North Shore cemetery in Birkdale last Monday night.

A 27-year-old man was charged with Gotingco’s murder, the New Zealand Herald (NZH) reported.

Cebu native Blessie Gotingco slain in New Zealand
FOUND. Before the discovery of Blesilda “Blessie” Gotingco's body, her children put up a Facebook page and posted this flyer to gather information on her whereabouts. (From Help Us Find Blesilda Gotingco Facebook page)

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Filipino migrants' rights organization Migrante Aotearoa president George Misa and national coordinator Dennis Maga condemned Gotingco's death and hope justice would be served to the family of the victim.

“We share the fears of the North Shore and the wider community that such a brazen attack against Blessie has happened in what was thought to be a quiet and safe community,” they said in a joint statement.

Vigilance

“We join the Filipino communities and all families in New Zealand in calling for heightened vigilance,” they added.

Gotingco last spoke to her adult son past 6 p.m. last Saturday to say that she would be leaving her office at Tower Insurance in Auckland City about 7 p.m. to catch a bus home.

Gotingco was an employee at the sales department of the Tower Insurance. Her husband Antonio was visiting the Philippines when she was reported missing to authorities.

A fellow employee said the victim was popular in their workplace because she made them laugh.

Gotingco had functions but she worked mainly as an insurance consultant in the sales team of the company, NZH reported.

Belongings

Some of the victim's belongings, including her cellular phone and shoes, were found on Salisbury Road, about 400 meters from the bus stop where she would have disembarked.

Screams were heard near Gotingco's home after she went missing.

In the Facebook page, “Bring Home Blesilda Gotingco,” several persons expressed sympathy to the victim's family.

Deb Clarke says: “Words seem absolutely inadequate. Rest peacefully.”

Lisa Rigby described the incident as “gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.”

According to NZH, investigators revealed that Gotingco took the 973 bus from Lower Albert Street to Birkdale, North Shore just after 7 p.m. last Saturday.

Police said Gotingco may have boarded a Birkenhead Transport bus at 7:20 p.m. or 7:40 p.m. The bus number would have been 973 or 974. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 28, 2014.

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