Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Girl, 17, found dead in room

A 17-YEAR-OLD accountancy student was found dead inside her room in a subdivision in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City last Tuesday afternoon.

Police have yet to identify who killed Karen Kaye Montebon, whom her father found lying on the floor with a cord of a hair straightener tied around her neck past 5 p.m.

A first-year student of the University of San Carlos, Montebon was alone when the killer or killers entered the house in the Corinthians Subdivision in Sitio Suba-Masulog.

Her iPad and DSLR camera were missing, leading the police to suspect that the gadgets contained sensitive information and have something do with the killing.

Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said robbery was an unlikely motive because there were more valuables in the house that could have been taken away.

Di ta kaingon na robbery kay naa pa may mas mahal na items (We can’t say it’s robbery because there were more expensive things in the house),” he said.

Although her father said a cord was tied around her neck, the autopsy report said that Montebon was choked to death with the use of hands.

Police are checking the identity of a woman who was seen knocking on the front door of the victim’s house around 7 a.m. and her male companion on a black motorcycle.

The two wore full-faced helmets, a helper working in a nearby house told the police.

The woman was described as petite and long-haired while the man was estimated to to be in his 40s, Radoc said. Nobody had recorded the motorcycle’s plate numbers.

A witness said the two were seen leaving less than hour later, but a neighbor living in an adjacent house said he heard the sound of a closing door coming from victim’s house around noon.

The neighbors whom investigators talked to said they did not hear any commotion from the victim’s house, Radoc told reporters.

He said Montebon was still in house clothing when she was killed. She also appeared to have been dragged by the hair from the ground floor to her room on the second floor.

James Montebon, 45, the victim’s father, said his eldest daughter—the victim’s only sibling—and his wife left the house at 6 a.m. A technician at the Mactan Electric Company, he did not go home from overtime work until 5 p.m. that day.

His eldest daughter had gone to Velez College where she studies while his wife had a seminar to attend.

The accountancy student was scheduled to take a school exam at 10:30 a.m. that day, James said.

He rushed his daughter to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.

Radoc said the body was already stiff when it was brought to the hospital, indicating that she might have been killed in the morning yet. She had bruises on her neck and face.

The attending physician, who examined the victim’s genitals and underwear, said she may have been raped, SPO2 Manolito Abellanosa said.

Radoc said that the girl was fully-clothed when she was found, and that rape didn’t seem to be the main intention of the suspect.

Radoc said they are looking into several angles, but he refused to give details.

Aside from her family, Radoc said they will talk with Montebon’s friends and classmates.

Mayor Paz Radaza called on the police to catch the killer or killers as soon as possible.

“As a mother, I can imagine the painful loss. Let us not allow her death to be in vain. I join all in seeking justice and in demanding for quick but clear answers,” she said in a text message.

“I call on witnesses to please cooperate... As a people, let us unite to quickly find Karen’s killers and bring them to justice,” she added.

The management of the subdivision replaced its security agency after the incident.

Security guards from JSL Security Agency were assigned in the subdivision yesterday.

Radoc lamented that investigators gathered no information from the security guards of Bisda Security Agency who were on duty at the time of the crime because they did not record the names or plate numbers of the vehicles entering the subdivision.

The subdivision did not have security cameras as well.

Security guard Bruno Menguito of the JSL Security Agency said all outsiders have been required to log in and secure stickers issued by the management.

The administration of USC held a mass yesterday for the slain student. Montebon’s wake was to be held in St. Peter’s Funeral Chapels on U.N. Ave. in Mandaue City.

Officials of the university urged students to wear black today to express indignation for the accounting student’s death.

Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD, USC’s vice president for academic affairs, told reporters that while the university has yet to issue an official statement on the incident, they condemned the attack.

“We feel very sad for what happened to one of our students. (What happened was) gruesome and indescribable,” Salas told reporters yesterday.

To express solidarity for Montebon and her family, Salas urged students to wear black today. “It is our way of expressing our indignation and a shout for justice for the senseless killing of one of our students,” Salas added.

Members of USC’s Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA) also condemned the attack.

Bret Balbuena, USC-JPIA president, said they plan to ask for donations from the students and faculty members to assist Montebon’s family.

Balbuena also urged netizens to avoid reposting pictures of Montebon’s body on social media.

“It’s very common for some students who are too active in social media. We can show sympathy to the family by not showing her photos. The best we can do is to respect their privacy and pray for her eternal repose,” Balbuena added. (Sunnex)

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