CEBU, Philippines – Authorities found the body of a 10-year-old girl in a cave in Sitio Napo, Barangay Tapul in Talisay City on Sunday, January 9, three days after she was reported missing.
A pile of rocks covered the body of Kiara Mae Namanama that was already in a state of decomposition. Talisay police chief Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes said he suspected the girl was abducted and murdered by more than one person.
“Naay possibility nga gi-forcibly taken siya. We are waiting pa sa results sa autopsy if naa ba siyay samad, naa pa bay gibuhat sa iyaha,” Caballes said. (There is a possibility that she was abducted. We are still waiting for the results of the autopsy to see if she had injuries, and if there was anything else done to her.)
Police investigators, he said, were still gathering more information in the hope of identifying suspects. Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas on Monday, January 10, announced a P100,000-reward for anyone who can provide useful information that could lead to the arrest of suspects.
“We cannot let this deed go unpunished. I have ordered our police chief…to conduct a massive manhunt operation against those behind Kiara’s abduction and murder,” Gullas said.
The girl’s body was found because of the foul smell that emanated from the cave. When villagers and authorities checked, they found the corpse with a pile of rocks on it.
Namanama was subsequently identified by members of her family. The girl, the fifth and youngest of the Namanama children, was last seen by her 48-year-old father Arnolfo with her 12-year-old brother and mother on Thursday, January 6.
“Akong asawa niadto sa sapa Pinggan kay manglaba sila. Ang bata niadto sa ibabaw, mga 150 meter ang gilay-on, para maligo. Dayun, niingun siya sa iyang maguwang nga muoli siya kay gigutom,” he said.
(My wife went to the Pinggan creek because they were going to do the laundry. The child went above, around 150 meters away, to take a bath. Then, she told her brother that she would go home ahead because she was hungry.)
It didn’t take long for the family to realize that something was wrong when the girl wasn’t home yet an hour later.
“Pag-abot sa alas 12, naabot ko sa sapa. Gipangita nako ang bata kay basin nalumos. Sa sige nakog salom, wala na gyud nako nakita,” Arnolfo said. (At around noon, I reached the creek. I searched for the child, fearing that she may have drowned. I kept on diving but I could no longer find her.)
Arnolfo called on officials and the police to prioritize the case and bring those behind his daughter’s death to justice. – Rappler.com