By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
A seven-year-old girl found dead and half-naked Sunday morning in Pasig City was raped and strangled, the Eastern Police District (EPD) confirmed.
According to the post-mortem examination conducted by the EPD-Crime Lab, victim Maritonie Ludana was sexually abused because of lacerations found on the victim’s hymen, while her death was due to asphyxia by ligature.
The report also noted that the victim sustained contusions and bruises on her thighs and different parts of her body. She also sustained a head injury believed to have caused by her head being banged on a hard surface.
“Kumpirma na ginahasa sya dahil wasak yung pribadong bahagi nya, at sinakal sya sa pamamagitan ng alambre (It was confirmed that the victim was sexually abused because her private part had lacerations, and she was choked with a wire),” an EPD-Crime Lab official said.
Pasig City Police said the victim, a Grade 1 pupil, was found by her father, Anthony Ludana, 31, inside the room of suspect Gomer Sobido, 43, at No. 3, San Vicente Street in Barangay Pineda, Pasig at around 10 a.m. Sunday.
The victim was found lying on her back, wearing only black and white striped shorts stained with blood, wrapped in two blankets, and covered by a sheet of plywood.
Initial investigation showed that the suspect was last seen playing with the victim along San Vicente Street at around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday.
When the girl did not return home, the victim’s family started looking for the girl at around 10 p.m. But it was only the next day that a witness told the father that his daughter was seen with the suspect before she went missing.
“I saw the suspect carrying the victim on his back while laughing. They were like playing around,” a witness told reporters Sunday.
The father then confronted Sobido at his house. Police said the suspect denied that the girl was inside his room. After the confrontation, the suspect fled.
The father, unsatisfied with Sobido’s alibi, and together with authorities, decided to investigate the suspect’s room, where he found his daughter hidden under a piece of plywood.
“The father himself saw his daughter. She was found under a (piece of) plywood believed to have been used to hide the victim’s body,” said Police Chief Master Sergeant Romeo Tanguilan, case investigator.
Police suspected the victim was already dead for over two hours before she was discovered.
Among the evidence found inside the suspect’s drawer were the girl’s underwear and red slippers, police said.
With the help of the suspect’s sister, Pasig City Police hunted down the suspect and arrested him in Tondo, Manila. They said the suspect admitted he was under the influence of illegal drugs when he allegedly committed the gruesome crime. He will undergo a drug test for this to be confirmed.
Sobido is now under the custody of Pasig City Police where appropriate charges will be filed against him.