AN OVERSEAS worker’s wife was found naked and dead in the deep canal below her house in Talisay City last Saturday night.

Local police are on a manhunt for Alfonso “Alan” Saballa, 40, who they suspect raped and murdered his sister-in-law Manilyn Lopez Saballa, 27, in Sitio Garden, Barangay Poblacion around 11 p.m. last Saturday.

An autopsy has yet to confirm the rape angle.

Saballa also allegedly tried to conceal his crime by attempting to torch the house before he fled.

Investigators believe that Saballa, a jeepney driver, may have been on drugs at that time.

Last Saturday night, Manilyn was sleeping in her room while her four-year-old daughter slept with her sister, Jessa Lopez, in their sala.

Lopez said that Saballa suddenly came out of his room and entered Manilyn’s room. She told reporters that she heard a loud bang, but didn’t think it was unusual because it was raining heavily.

A few minutes later, Lopez said, she woke up when Saballa poured gasoline on her hair and parts of the house. When she saw Saballa striking a match, Lopez ran to the door.

She said that Saballa grabbed her hair and punched her left eye. She was out cold for a few minutes. When she came to, Lopez said, she saw that parts of the house were already on fire and ran outside to call her brother Archie and some neighbors for help.

One neighbor told reporters he saw Saballa trying to stop them from fighting the fire. “Sige siya’g ingon nga dili na kuno matabang ang kayo mao nang dili na lang patirahan ug tubig (He kept saying it was too late to stop the fire),” the neighbor said.

Motorcyle

After that, some neighbors said, they saw Saballa leave on his motorcycle.

While Archie Lopez, an older brother, secured Lopez and their four-year-old niece, Manilyn was nowhere in sight.

“Gaduda naman ko ato kay wala man gyud siya nagpakita (I got suspicious when we didn’t see Manilyn),” Archie told reporters.

With some of his relatives, Archie returned to Manilyn’s house. It was only when they removed part of the wooden floor of Manilyn’s room that they found her.

She was floating in the canal, with no clothes on.

The police team that retrieved Manilyn’s body noticed stab wounds in her neck and face. A piece of wire was coiled around her neck.

Investigators also noticed the window of the victim’s room was open.

They immediately brought the body to the St. Francis Funeral Homes in Barangay Bulacao for an autopsy and to verify if she had been raped.

Where is he?

Insp. Windell Abellana, deputy police chief of Talisay City, told reporters that Saballa was last seen in Barangay Camp 4. He urged those who know where Saballa is to turn him over to the police.

They have yet to find out what the motive was for the attack.

Lopez told reporters that a few months ago, her sister caught Saballa peeping while she bathed. Manilyn tried to scold Saballa, but the suspect reportedly dismissed the incident.

Edilisa Saballa, the suspect’s mother and Manilyn’s mother-in-law, said that her son should pay if he did commit this crime.

Manilyn’s husband Victor, who works in Kuwait, has been informed about what happened.

“Sobra kaayo kasakit. Pinangga kaayo nako ang akong mga anak, pero sa iyang gibuhat, maayo na lang unta siya patyon. Dili to makiangayon ang iyang gibuhat (This is extremely painful. I love my children, but if he did this, he might as well die. What he did was wrong),” Edilisa said. (Sun.Star Cebu)