4 suspects in robbery-slay of American, wife arrested

THE four workers believed to have robbed and killed an American national and his Filipino wife in Murcia, Negros Occidental were arrested barely a day after the couple’s decomposing bodies were retrieved from a 20-foot-deep well in their backyard.

The cadavers of Kevin Fleischauer, 58 and wife Lolly, 55, were found Monday at about 7:50 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

Fleischauer was from Minnesota, United States while his spouse hailed from Hinigaran, Negros Occidental.

Senior Inspector Lawrence Gerald Bathan, chief of Murcia Municipal Police Station, identified the suspects as Randy Nuñez, 25; Ralph Medel alias Toto, 18, and his 17-year-old brother; and Randy Perez alias Geran, 19, all residents of Sagay City.

Bathan said they first arrested Nuñez and the Medel brother at about 9 p.m. Monday at their respective residences in Sitio Dalia, Barangay Puey, with assistance from operatives of Sagay City Police Station, Negros Occidental Public Safety Company, and Special Action Force.

Perez, who was pinpointed by the three as the mastermind, was apprehended in a follow-up operation at 9:25 a.m. Tuesday in Barangay Bato.

Recovered by police from the suspects were P15,000 in cash, 12 pieces 20-dollar bills, four pieces 50-dollar bills, two pieces 10-dollar bills, assorted jewelry, two personal laptops, five cellphones with different brands, one unit MP3 player, one unit 9mm Parabellum with one magazine, seven live ammunition, a wallet, cellphone charger and electric grinder.

Statements from witnesses led to the arrest of the suspects, who admitted the crime, Bathan said.

The suspects, who are in the custody of Murcia police, said three of them, excluding the minor, hit the couple with a wood while they were sleeping at about 5 a.m. of August 4.

All four of them helped in dumping the victims’ bodies in the well, Lolly first and then Kevin.

Nuñez said in an interview that he has been working for the couple for several years already and last year, he recruited the Medel brothers and Perez after previous farm workers left.

He claimed that they committed the crime because the victims paid them a very low salary and even maltreated them.

They were made to work starting at 4 a.m. and given only 30 minutes to take break and eat their meals, and then end their work at 6 p.m., he added.

Moreover, police investigation showed that after the suspects dumped the victims’ bodies, they looted the house then rode a jeepney towards the north terminal, and boarded a bus going to their hometown.

Bathan said they will file robbery with homicide charges against the suspects as soon as possible.

The crime was discovered after church colleagues of the couple reported to the police that they were missing.

A foul odor from the well located 30 meters from the house led the police to suspect that the victims’ bodies were possibly dumped inside.

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