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Cebu News

Cousin arrested in killing of 10-year-old girl in Talisay

Gabriel C. Bonjoc - The Freeman
Cousin arrested in killing of 10-year-old girl in Talisay
Ian Rey Baculi (right photo), the 18-year-old suspect in the killing of 10-year-old Kiara Mae Namanama in Talisay City, Cebu, is escorted to the police station following his arrest just hours before Kiara was laid to rest at the public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion. The suspect is the girl’s cousin.
Romeo Marantal

CEBU, Philippines —  The 18-year-old suspect in the killing of 10-year-old Kiara Mae Namanama in Talisay City, Cebu was arrested on Wednesday, about three days after the girl’s body was found at a cave in the city on January 9, 2022.

The suspect, Ian Rey Baculi, was arrested just hours before Kiara was laid to rest at the public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion. He is the girl’s cousin.

Lt. Col. Randy Caballes of the Talisay City Police, said they arrested Baculi at Barangay Campo 7 in neighboring Minglanilla town where he allegedly tried to escape.

Caballes said at least seven witnesses pointed to Baculi as the suspect. Baculi admitted the crime before authorities and reporters.

He said he committed the crime alone and his actions were dictated reportedly by what his mind was telling him to do at that time. He admitted using illegal drugs. He said he came from a bath at a river when he met Kiara.

He then followed her, strangle her, and drown her at the river. He also admitted hiding her body at a small cave in sitio Napo, Barangay Tapul.

He said he regrets what he has done. Baculi’s parents could only shake their heads in disbelief that their son was capable of committing the crime. Kiara’s parents, meanwhile, said they are thankful that justice has been served. As far as the police are concerned, the case is now closed.

A murder charge will be filed against Baculi but he may also face a rape charge if autopsy would show he raped the girl.

Meanwhile, Talisay Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas commended the police for their swift action. He assured he will release the P100,000 reward money he has announced to give for information that would lead to the suspect’s arrest. — JMO (FREEMAN)

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