THE body of 39-year-old Josephine Ortega was found partly buried in the back of a private condominium in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City on Friday night, March 22.
It was discovered by the security guard and construction workers who were trying to determine the source of the foul smell emanating from the area.
Operatives from the Mabolo Police Station arrested Ortega’s live-in partner, 35-year-old Crisanto Martinez, in a follow-up operation.
According to the PNP Crime Lab, which examined her body, Ortega had been buried for almost a week, based on the extent of decomposition, said Chief Insp. Dindo Alaras, Mabolo police chief.
During their investigation, they discovered that Martinez was the last person seen with the victim when she was still alive, Alaras said.
Live-in partner’s claims
During interrogation, Martinez, who works as a maintenance personnel at the condominium, admitted burying Ortega, but he denied killing her.
He said she committed suicide by stabbing herself.
In an interview with radio dyHP on Saturday, March 23, Martinez, who also admitted being Ortega’s live-in partner, said he found her bleeding body on the floor when he returned to their bunkhouse at the back of the condominium.
He said he panicked when he saw her lying there dead, so he hastily buried at the back of their bunkhouse. He said he didn’t want the authorities to think that he killed her.
Martinez said Ortega took her own life because she couldn’t live with the guilt after he caught her cheating with another man.
Martinez said he walked in on Ortega sleeping beside another man.
“She decided to commit suicide as she didn’t want me to berate her after I found her sleeping with my neighbor. Even though she knew I caught her in the act, she refused to admit her mistake,” Martinez said in Cebuano.
He denied killing Ortega, saying he didn’t have any hard feelings against her. He said he was even the one who apologized to her for catching her and her lover together.
Police will file murder charges against Martinez on Monday, March 25.
It will be up to the court to determine if his alibi will stick, Alaras said. (from AYB of SuperBalita Cebu, JKV)