Identity of remains found at burned mall in Davao still unknown

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 03 September) – The identity of the human bones recovered at the NCCC Mall Davao has remained unknown nearly eight weeks after demolition workers discovered the remains but authorities suspected the victim was killed for stealing from the burned building.

“Wala pang nag-claim (Nobody has claimed yet),” Chief Insp. Dr. Nolan Genova, Regional Crime Laboratory Office 11 medico legal officer said on Sunday.

The remains were found last July 10.

Davao City Police Office director Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum said they are still investigating but surmised the victim was one of the workers of D.M. Consunji Inc. that handled the demolition of the mall.

He said the contractor is not cooperating with authorities in the investigation making them “persons of interest.”

He said how the workers handled the discovery situation was suspicious as they placed the bones in a box before reporting it to the authorities.

He said it compromised the evidence.

“Even if they immediately reported it to us, they found a way to sanitize and cleaned the area. That’s why we are very suspicious. This is the reason why we intensified the investigation,” he added in Filipino.

Tagum said investigators suspected the victim was killed after he was accused of stealing some recovered items from the destroyed mall but refused to disclose more details as the investigation was still ongoing.

The examination conducted on the skeletal remains ruled out the possibility that the victim was among the 38 trapped workers as results showed that he was dead only for 12 to 16 days, with some decomposing flesh still intact. The mall burned on December 23 last year.

His age was estimated at between 25 and 35, about 5’4’’ to 5’7’’ in height. He was wearing a red polo shirt and jeans and a Unisilver wrist watch. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)