Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Death leaves mystery

CEBU. Danica Rose Erolya, 22, was found dead inside a Cebu City downtown hotel Monday night, Jan. 7, with her partner Ely Malagum, 65. Police believe Ely shot the girl before he killed himself. (SunStar photo/Alan Tangcawan)

THE police said the 65-year-old man who was found dead with his girlfriend inside a hotel room in Cebu City may have had a problem with his relationship.

The woman’s relatives, however, said they were not aware of her troubles.

Investigators believe Danica Rose Erolya, 22, was shot in the head while she was asleep by Ely dela Cruz Malagum inside Room 527 of Pacific Tourist Inn in Barangay Sto. Niño, Cebu City on Monday night, Jan. 7.

After sensing his lover was already dead, Malagum must have shot himself in the head.

No one outside the room heard the gunshots as the concrete walls are thick.

Waterfront Police Station Chief Jomar Pomarejos said the crime possibly happened six hours before the bodies were found. The police received a call about the incident past 9 p.m.

Pomarejos said there was no sign of forced entry in the room, which means no other person was with Erolya and Malagum before their deaths.

Erolya’s sister, Mercy Labrador, confirmed that Erolya and Malagum were lovers.

Labrador, who claimed her sister’s body from a funeral home, said she had no idea that Erolya and Malagum were at odds with each other.

“Ambot lang nganong naingun ana man na kay dili man na palaaway nang lalake. Mag-four years na na sila karong tuiga unta (I don’t know what happened, since the guy wasn’t one who caused trouble. They’d have been four years together this year),” she said.

Labrador said she had no knowledge on Malagum’s character as she had not met him in person.

“Dili man ni siya mo adto sa amoa. Ang akoang manghud ra ang moadto sa pension house. Unya mouli ra sad na akung manghud kung molarga na og balik sa Manila ang lalaki. Kakita ko ani niya ka usa pero sa sulod ra sad sa taxi, nagkastorya mi sa cellphone ra (He didn’t go to our house. My sister was the one who went to his pension house. And my sister would come home when he went to Manila. I saw him once, but he was in a taxi. We talked on the cellphone),” she said.

She met her sister for the last time last Dec. 27, during the birthday of their sibling. Two days later, Erolya went to Tabuelan to be with her daughter.

Erolya, a native of Tuburan, Cebu, met Malagum in Manila where she was working in a restaurant. She returned to Cebu after she suffered appendicitis.

Malagum often flew in to Cebu to visit Erolya, who had a five-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Investigation showed Malagum, a resident of IC-2 apartment, Tal building, Dian street, Makati City, had checked in at the Pacific Tourist Inn alone last Jan. 5. He was supposed to check out at 12 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7.

When the hotel staff members noticed Malagum did not go out of his room, they tried to wake him up.

The hotel workers failed to enter the room as the door was double-locked. They forced their way in and they were stunned to discover the lifeless bodies on the bed.

Erolya was lying facedown, while Malagum was lying on his side.

Police found a .45 pistol in the hands of Malagum. They also saw no sign of a struggle between Malagum and Erolya.

The pistol and the fired cartridges were brought to the crime laboratory for examination. Malagum’s hands were also wrapped with paraffin wax to determine if it was really he who shot Erolya.

Pomarejos said they will also check if Malagum was the registered owner of the gun.

Labrador said her mother, who has a disability, has not been told about Erolya’s death. (From AYB OF SuperBalita Cebu, Kiziah Marie T. Suello, USJ-R Intern, KAL)


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