No leads on slay of account executive

The Philippine Star

CAVITE, Philippines – Police are facing a blank wall on the brutal killing of an advertising executive over the weekend.

Relatives and friends are calling for justice for Kristelle “Kae” Davantes, 25, senior account manager of McCann Worldgroup Philippines MRM and marketing officer of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

The body of Davantes was found with multiple stab wounds under the Tibagan Bridge in Barangay Sabutan, Silang, Cavite at around 6 a.m. last Saturday.

She was hogtied with a seatbelt and a handkerchief was stuffed in her mouth. Her neck bore strangulation marks, possibly from a laptop cable that was recovered along with a knife near her body.

Her gold Toyota Altis (PIM-966), which she was driving when she went missing last Saturday, has not been found.

Budjette Tan, MRM executive creative director, said in a Facebook post that Davantes had drinks with her colleagues Friday night in a bar in Bonifacio Global City. They broke up at around 1 a.m. Saturday. It was the last time Davantes was seen alive.

Her family sent out a missing persons notice on Instagram.

Senior Superintendent Alexander Rafael, Cavite police director, said yesterday investigators had no leads on the case and were still waiting for autopsy results.

Superintendent Dario Roxas, police chief of Silang, said Davantes might have been killed elsewhere and her body dumped in Cavite.

Davantes joined McCann’s digital offering MRM in September 2011.

She obtained a master’s degree in marketing communications from De La Salle University and a degree in business administration from Southville Foreign University.

Colleagues described Davantes as a rising star in the marketing industry, passionate in her work and eager to keep getting better.

“Despite all the OT we do and all the weekly workload that leave us with little personal time, she was still excited to work on a new project and win a new account,” Tan posted on Facebook.

Donald Lim, chief digital officer at ABS-CBN and former managing director of MRM Worldwide, said he met briefly Friday afternoon with Davantes so he could sign her application for her thesis proposal.

Lim was Davantes’ professor in eMarketing in De la Salle graduate school. He was going to be her academic mentor for her thesis.

“She was very hardworking and intelligent. During group projects, she would automatically be elected as group leader to lead the group discussions and assignments,” Lim recalled.

He recruited Davantes to MRM where she was given one of the agency’s biggest accounts, Coca-Cola.

“Our business with Coca-Cola grew, mainly because of how she was able to do her job very well. At her young age at the time, she was a big sister to many,” Lim recalled.

He added, “I felt really sad to see one of the big potentials we have in our industry go this way.”

Justice for Kae

On Twitter, friends mourning Davantes use the hashtag #justiceforkae. On Facebook, an image of a black ribbon with the words “Justice for Kristelle Davantes” is circulating. A Facebook page, Justice for KAE, has also been set up.

In a statement released yesterday, McCann Worldgroup Philippines asked for prayers for Davantes.

“McCann Worldgroup Philippines would like to extend sincere appreciation to the people who express condolences and kind words of support in the passing of one of our own – Kristelle ‘Kae’ Davantes,” the company said.

“We are shocked and saddened by this news. We are one with the Davantes family in this time of grief and we will continue to offer them our full support. We respect their request for privacy in this time of bereavement, as we await the complete and accurate details from the ongoing investigation,” the company added. – Arnell Ozaeta, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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