A TEENAGE girl was believed to have been strangled in her bedroom in an upscale subdivision in Cagayan de Oro City.
The body of Stacey Villar, 14, was discovered by her mother, Badette Villar, around 6 a.m. Thursday.
The Villars live alone in a rented house in Morning Mist Village, Upper Carmen.
Stacey was found lying in bed, covered by a blanket. She was a Grade 8 student at Abbas Orchard School.
Badette Villar told police she last saw her daughter alive around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, before she left the house. She returned around 2 a.m.
Around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Stacey was still able to tweet that she was “busy downloading songs.”
Her previous tweets, however, did not indicate if she was alone or if she was with someone else in the house.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry anywhere in the house and the only item missing from Stacey’s room was her mobile phone.
Investigators found in the room a broken charger cord of an IPhone 5, which they said could have been used to strangle Stacey.
Police said it was too early in the investigation to determine if Stacey knew her killer or if the murderer was a burglar, but noted that security at the village is tight.
Stacey’s house is about 200 meters from the village’s main gate facing Xavier University High School. At least two security guards man the gate.
Bert Lim, president of the Morning Mist Homeowners Association, said the village implements strict security measures 24/7.
"Dili lang man na sila ga stand by diha sa guard house kung dili ga-roving pud na sila sa whole subdivision, mismo ako pud gane mag-check,” Lim said.
Lim said he passed by the Villar residence Wednesday night but did not notice anything unusual.
A neighbor who requested anonymity likewise said there was nothing out of the ordinary when he passed by on his way to the sweepstakes betting outlet.
"Mga 8:30 p.m., nakadungog gyud ko na nagkatawa to siya, kanang happy gyud ba, unya dili siya alone ato, murag naa siyay kauban," he said.
He said he also jogged by the house around 6 a.m. Thursday but noticed nothing amiss.
Wilfreo dela Riarte, football coach of the Higala FC, a local football club, described Stacey as a happy, fun-loving girl who loved to laugh.
An avid footballer, Stacey played midfield for the 17-and-under girls’ football team.
"She was really a happy go lucky, soft spoken, easy to please girl,” Riarte said.
"In fact kagahapon, nag-practice mi and the whole time she was happily mingling with the others," he said.
Riarte said Stacey was excited about the club’s upcoming football tournaments this fiesta and this coming October.
Riarte said Stacey was a good player, determined and inspired.
"Usually, siya gyud na ang una mo text gyud kung mag-practice ba mi today, so I can really say na very serious and determined to learn to siya na bata," he said.
"Eskwela ug practice ra gyud ang tunong ato na bata," Riarte added.