Cebu News

Toledo ‘rape-slay’ suspect arrested

Romeo D. Marantal - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  A 29-year-old man suspected of killing a senior high-school student Thursday evening was arrested by the operatives of Toledo City Police few hours after the victim was found in a secluded area of Barangay Bunga, Toledo City yesterday morning.

Police identified the suspect as Jonathan Sugabo, a father of two and a resident of Barangay Bunga. He was first identified as person of interest in the brutal killing of Sharmaine Flores, 17, on Thursday evening.

Toledo City Police chief Lt. Col. Manolo Salvatierra said they invited Sugabo for questioning after he was allegedly seen at the crime scene on the night the victim was believed to have been raped and killed.

At the police station, several witnesses allegedly identified Sugabo as the person responsible in the suspected rape-slay. Initial police investigation revealed that the victim’s underwear was found to have been pulled down to her knees indicating a possible rape. Human bite marks were also found on her face and neck.

Flores allegedly went out of the house last Thursday evening to do an errand for her friend who asked to buy her load credits for her phone. She did not return that night and her body was found at 6:40 a.m. the following day.

Salvatierra said they have noted several fresh wounds on the suspect’s body believed to have been caused by scratches. XFM Cebu reported that based on the medical examination result, the suspect sustained “multiple superficial abrasions on right forearm, right medial thigh, right infra patellar area, left knee and right posterior supraclavicular area.”

Police Regional Office-7 director Brigadier General Anthony Aberin described the incident to be “very tragic” and ordered the immediate arrest of the suspect.

“This is a very tragic incident and we don’t want this kind of crime to become normal here in Central Visayas...Rest assured that the entire force of the Police Regional Office-7 will be utilized to immediately solve this case,” said Aberin’s spokesperson, Police Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare. 

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