THE decomposing bodies of an American national and his Filipino wife were retrieved from a 20-foot well about 30 meters away from their house at Villa Emmanuel, Barangay Blumentritt in Murcia town, Negros Occidental Monday.
Senior Inspector Lawrence Gerald Bathan, chief of Murcia Municipal Police Station, identified the victims as Kevin Fleischauer, 58, and his wife Lolly, 55.
Fleischauer hailed from Minnesota, United States while his wife is a native of Hinigaran town.
Initial investigation showed that Pastor Neslon Cunahap of the Open Door Baptist Church reported to the police last Sunday that the couple were missing, and not seen in church for more than a week already.
On the same day, the police conducted a search operation at the couple’s residence, along with Cunahap and other church members.
The police said they were disturbed by the foul odor coming from the well so they started searching it early Monday morning.
The police said they first retrieved the body of the American at about 7:50 a.m. He had a fracture on his head.
The wife’s body was fished out at about 4 p.m. with assistance from Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade, and rescue teams of Murcia and Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, who took turns in siphoning the water out of the well.
The police said the investigation continues, but the initial motive seen is robbery with homicide since some of the personal items of the victims were missing, including some items inside Lolly’s bag.
They are also conducting a follow-up operation to locate the four male helpers who worked as farm workers in the one-hectare organic farm owned by the couple.
The four, who are believed to be from northern Negros, were nowhere to be found, the police said.