By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY — The 16-year-old girl whose body was found in a vacant lot in Lapu-Lapu City had been stabbed at least 20 times, police said.
Sr. Supt. Lemuel Obon, Lapu-Lapu police chief, said Christine Silawan “had stab wounds all over the body but the fatal were the ones in the neck.”
The skin of the girl’s face was also peeled off.
The stab wounds in her arms indicate that she tried to fend off her attacker, Obon said.
The girl was found naked from the waist down but police could not say if she had been raped until after that autopsy results are released.
Obon denied earlier media reports that the girl’s face had been splashed with a strong chemical that caused her skin to peel off.
“We did not notice any strong or foul odor in the area and there were no traces of burns in the other parts of the body. What we saw were fresh wounds. The perpetrators used a sharp object to flay the victim’s face,” he said.
He said he had talked to the medico legal officer who was quoted in the reports to correct the information.
Obon said they have “persons of interest” in the case. He added there were witnesses who saw how the victim was attacked, but refused to elaborate.
Obon also refused to reveal the time the gruesome killing happened, saying: “We cannot divulge some information since these are critical in our investigation.”
“We are doing our best to arrest the perpetrators. We are hopeful that we can solve this case immediately. With or without pressure from anyone, we will unmask and arrest the persons behind this gruesome incident,” he said.
The body was found early morning Monday.
The girl’s mother, Lourdes, told the police Christine left home to attend the 4 p.m. mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Barangay Pajac.
The girl had been serving the church as a collector since last year, the mother said.
She said they began to worry when Christine did not go home at the usual time of 6 p.m.
The mother said they looked for Christine until 1 a.m. but they did not find her.
Obon said the place where the girl was found is known to be a dating place.
“According to some residents, couples frequent the place because it’s far from houses,” he said.
Because of the incident, police will regularly patrol the area, Obon said.