A WOMAN was found dead in a vacant grassy area, few meters away from her house, Monday morning in Barangay Kauswagan, Cagayan de Oro.

Senior Police Officer 3 Tony Eblacas of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) identified the victim as Liezl B. Baranda, 27, of Tamparong Village.

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Baranda's body was already in an advanced state of decomposition when it was discovered.

Initial investigation showed that Baranda was reported missing since Friday afternoon though her husband, Aurelio, only reported the incident to police on Saturday evening.

In an interview, Aurelio's younger sister, Faith Balan, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that at around 5 p.m. last Friday, her brother (Aurelio) texted the victim inquiring the latter's whereabouts.

She said Liezl replied she was still fetching her employer's daughter who was studying piano.

It was learned that Baranda was working as a secretary of a doctor at the Cagayan de Medical Center and part of her job is to fetch the latter's daughter from school.

Probers said that before Baranda went missing, she reportedly rode a taxi after she sent her employer's daughter home.

He said the driver of the taxi had voluntarily surrendered at a radio station but denied any hand in Baranda's killing.

The driver said he dropped Baranda at SM City.

Eblacas said they are also investigating Baranda's husband, who said he did not have any fight with his wife prior to the incident.

Faith said relatives of Aurelio are considering the possibility that Liezl may have been raped and killed by the toughies in the area.

She said the family received information that during last Friday's heavy rain that occurred at 6 p.m., a group of individuals were drinking in a store along the junction of the said place.

They theorized that the victim was on her way to her house when she was waylaid by the suspects. She said the area where the victim was found dead has no streetlights and it was flooded at that time.

She said Aurelio decided to report the matter to the authorities the next day thinking her wife was just at her mother's house in Libertad town, or was at of her friends' house.

Faith said Aurelio only decided to have the missing incident reported after a futile effort of finding the victim.

Faith said the victim and her brother were so close that they seldom quarrel.

She said she did not notice even once that Aurelio laid hand on Liezl.

It was learned that Liezl met her husband while both of them were working at Gaisano City. The couple has three children. (Annabelle L. Ricalde/Joey P. Nacalaban)