Bruises other than the one on the neck were found on the cadaver of artist Breana “Bree” Jonson, markings that could be an indication of struggle, a law firm representing her family said in a statement released on Thursday, Sept. 23.
“Contrary to prior statements circulating in the social media, the initial medico-legal report of Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Training Center showed signs of struggle. There are bruises in some other parts of Breana’s body other than the neck,” the statement from the Sunga, Salandanan and Ampuan Law Office.
The statement contradicted the statement of the investigators from the Police Regional Office 1 who said that the initial check on Jonson’s body revealed that there were no markings that could indicate struggle.
Police Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta, director of the Police Regional Office 1, said that while they are not discounting the possibility of a foul play behind Jonson’s death, the initial investigation is leaning towards suicide.
Jonson’s body was found inside a room of a hostel in San Juan, La Union on Saturday. The case was reported by her partner Julian Ongpin, son of billionaire and former trade minister Bobby Ongpin.
Ongpin was charged of illegal drugs case after 12.6 grams of cocaine were discovered inside the room they occupied. Both Ongpin and Jonson tested positive for cocaine use.
Should it is established that there was struggle on the part of Jonson, the case would lean towards at least a case of homicide with Ongpin expected to be tagged as suspect.
Ongpin was released because according to Peralta, there is no evidence that would warrant the filing of case in relation to the death of Jonson.
Although police said they noticed wounds on some parts of the body of Jonson, police said they matched the narration of Ongpin that he sustained them when he forced his way inside the room using the small opening leading to the comfort room.
The law firm representing the Jonson family cited the medico-legal report of the ITRMC as the basis.
Personnel of the Crime Laboratory of the PRO1 performed an autopsy on Jonson from Monday evening to Tuesday morning. It was performed at the PRO1 Crime Laboratory since the ITRM management would not allow the conduct of autopsy inside as part of the coronavirus disease (COVIDS-19) protocols.
It was during the autopsy that the initial findings that Jonson died of asphyxia and that she tested positive for cocaine use were established.
The official report of the police autopsy is yet to be released but according to the Jonson lawyers, another autopsy will be performed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Police reviewed the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and saw footages of Ongpin and Jonson hours before her cadaver was found.
Gen, Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the CCTV was located outside fronting the room that the couple occupied.
“Based on the CCTV footage, we obtained information wherein the couple was seen engaged in a drinking session. But we cannot actually say that there was struggle,” said Eleazar in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“But remember the CCTV is outside, not inside. So we do not have conclusion at to what happened inside the room,” he stressed.
Eleazar said the invesitgation is ongoing and the PNP and the NBI are helping to help shed light on what really happened.