THE search for the missing former drug convict ended when his naked body was dug from a shallow grave at the far-flung area of Purok Katilingban in Barangay Vista Alegre in Bacolod City yesterday, July 31.

Station 7 commander, Captain Elmer Bonilla said that Alex Soberano, 51, was supposed to be picked up by his relatives at the Bacolod-Silay Airport last week.

Bonilla said that one of his children claimed to see a group of men forcing Soberano into a vehicle which later sped off.

Since then, he said the family of Soberano could no longer locate him until they learned of the discovery of the body of an unidentified man at a shallow grave in Barangay Vista Alegre yesterday.

The family was able to identify him through the “HGL” tattoo on his right forearm, Bonilla added.

Investigation showed that Soberano, who is from Purok United Roadside inthe city’s Barangay Tangub was arrested in a buy-bust operation back in 2012 at Barangay 27.

He then spent three years at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Bacolod City before he was transferred to Muntinlupa, where he was jailed for two years, the police said.

His family said that it has been only eight months since Soberano was released from prison.

Bonilla said they are yet to determine the motive for the killing but they could not categorically say that it is “drug-related.”

Soberano’s decomposing body was found by farmer Jessie Sebunga who told the police that he was about to get his carabao when he smelled a foul odor coming from under a nearby cellular tower.

When the shallow grave was dug, the knee and foot of the victim protruded.

Bonilla added that the victim’s body, which is now lying-in state at the Funeraria Angeles in Bacolod City, will be autopsied to ascertain his cause of death.