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After 8 years, suspect in teen rape-slay arrested

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — After eight years, one of the suspects in the rape-slay of a 16-year-old girl was arrested late evening of September 8 in San Jose town of Antique.

Members of San Jose Police Station collared Nestor Padura, 45, at his house at Barangay Funda-Dalipe in San Jose, Antique. He was arrested by the authority of arrest warrants for rape with homicide and frustrated murder docketed in Criminal Case Number 10-04-7942 and CC No. 10-06-7943, respectively.

Judge Rudy Castrojas, of RTC-6 Branch 12 in San Jose, issued the arrest warrants on May 25, 2010. No bail was recommended for the rape with homicide case but a P200,000 bail bond was set for the frustrated murder case.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a criminal complaint against Padura, a 17-year-old boy, and three unidentified suspects in the rape and killing of Kirsten Mejica on January 31, 2009.

The frustrated murder charge was filed after the five allegedly manhandled Mejica’s companion, Vincent Dave Gelito.

Half-naked, Mejica was found heavily beaten on the head at a grassy portion in Funda-Dalipe village. She was brought to Angel Salazar General Memorial Hospital in San Jose town but died shortly later.

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Gelito, who survived the incident, claimed that they were riding on a motorcycle when they were waylaid by the suspects. He said he was struck on the head causing him to lost consciousness. As he momentarily gained consciousness, he allegedly saw Padura raping the victim in the presence of several other men.

DNA samples indicted the 17-year-old suspect after they matched with those taken from the slain victim. Initially, the minor suspect admitted to clubbing the two victims but denied sexually molesting the girl.

Senior Inspector Juvy Cordero, San Jose Police chief, said the San Jose Police Station initially investigated the case before it was transferred to the NBI.

Padura, who works by selling charcoal, denied anything to do with the case. He claimed that he did not go into hiding believing that he was already exonerated from the case after the then 17-year-old suspect admitted that he acted alone in raping the girl and attacking the two victims.  (FREEMAN)

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