Girl, 13, killed by own uncle
- Nestor Etolle () - January 21, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A plumber was arrested for allegedly entering his 13-year-old niece’s room and stabbing her to death, possibly because she resisted when he tried to rape her, the Manila Police District (MPD) said yesterday.

A witness identified Ronald Pelaez, 37, as the man she saw wading out of an estero near their house and hurrying up the staircase minutes before the attack on Adrienne Mharie Bonavente was discovered at around 2 a.m. yesterday, according to MPD homicide section chief Senior Inspector Joey de Ocampo.

Bonavente, a second year high school student at the Sienna College in Quezon City, died at the UST Hospital.

“The girl sustained a number of stab wounds, including in both arms, which indicate that she tried to parry the thrusts of her attacker,” De Ocampo said.

Bonavente’s body is still being autopsied to determine whether she had been raped. “Though we have the narration of our witness as circumstantial evidence, it is strong (enough) to pin down the uncle as the culprit in the slaying,” De Ocampo told The STAR.

Ronald, who admitted taking illegal drugs, vehemently denied the allegation against him.

Coverup?

Bonavente’s widowed mother – Ronald’s sister – live together with their mother, Rosario, and their other siblings in a two-story house in Sta. Mesa. Each sibling and their family occupy a room in the house.

The Pelaez family initially told investigators that someone broke into their house, then robbed and killed Bonavente, who was often left alone in her room since her mother works as a supermarket cashier until late at night.

Police officers said the attacker left the girl’s electronic gadgets, including her laptop, and money untouched.

Another of Bonavente’s uncles, Roberto, and his partner, Jacqueline Tan, told police they heard the girl screaming in her room, but they thought she was just having a nightmare and ignored her.

Strange behavior

Ronald, who sleeps in the living room of the house with his son, claimed he brought Bonavente to the hospital after being awakened by his mother, Rosario. Another nephew, 13-year-old Earl Richard Dizon, found the victim had been attacked in her room, the family told police.

At the hospital, police officers said Ronald reportedly did not appear to be concerned about his niece and was more intent on avoiding them.

De Ocampo said the breakthrough in the case came when barangay chairman Ben Nuguit brought a witness who said she was washing clothes when she saw Ronald emerging from the waterway. She called out to him, but he ignored her and climbed the stairs to their house three steps at a time.

De Ocampo said Ronald may have gone out of the house after the crime, waded through the waterway, gone back to the house and changed clothes to mislead investigators.

ADRIENNE MHARIE BONAVENTE ANOTHER OF BONAVENTE BEN NUGUIT BONAVENTE DE OCAMPO EARL RICHARD DIZON HOUSE JACQUELINE TAN MANILA POLICE DISTRICT QUEZON CITY RONALD
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