CEBU, Philippines – Talisay City police said the suspect in the killing of 10-year-old Kiara Mae Namanama of Barangay Tapul is her relative.
The 18-year-old man admitted killing the child, Talisay police chief Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes said in a live-streamed briefing on January 12, hours after police brought him in, following a tip.
On the same day, Kiara Mae’s family buried her in the city poblacion cemetery.
Caballes said they filed a murder complaint on January 12 against the suspect. Kiara Mae’s mother, Cerila, had identified him as a relative, he said.
Police found Kiara Mae’s decomposing body inside a cave in Sitio Napo, Barangay Tapul on Sunday, January 9, three days after her family declared her missing.
Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas had offered a P100,000 reward for anyone providing useful information on the suspect.
At least seven witnesses said they saw the suspect near the area of the cave where the child’s body was found, the police officer said.
One witness claimed to have seen the man carrying the child, he added.
Kiara Mae’s father, Arnolfo, on January 9 said his wife and children went to do laundry and bathe in the river. The slain girl headed home before other family members because she was hungry, Arnolfo said.
According to police reports, the suspect waylaid the child on her way home, strangled and drowned her by a river, before bringing her body to the nearby cave.
He covered the body with rocks to prevent detection, police added.
Caballes described the suspect as “a notorious thief” in Barangay Tapul and its surrounding areas.
Police are waiting for autopsy results before filing other complaints. – Rappler.com