GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 Dec) – A suspect in the abduction and killing of a 16-year-old girl in Banga town, South Cotabato province was killed in a joint police operation in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat early Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 director, said suspect Richard Romo Gumilid, 31, was gunned down by operatives after reportedly trying to throw a hand grenade when they attempted to “invite” him for investigation around 2:25 a.m.
He said the incident happened by the roadside in front of the suspect’s house along D’Lotilla Street, Purok Bagong Sikat in Barangay Kalawag I.
The operation was led by elements from the PRO-12’s intelligence division and special operations group, Banga and Isulan municipal police stations.
Corpus said Gumilid was identified as a “person of interest” in the investigation on the kidnap-slaying in Banga town of Barbie Bernardino Inocencio, 16, who was initially reported missing last Monday, Dec. 2, and eventually found dead on Wednesday afternoon.
He said their units eventually tracked him at his house in Isulan town and immediately launched an operation.
Upon confrontation with the suspect at the site, he said the latter resisted and was seen by operatives holding a hand grenade.
“He became unruly and tried to throw the grenade so he has to be neutralized,” Corpus said in a radio interview.
A report from the Isulan municipal police station listed Gumilid as single and a businessman from the area.
Corpus said the victim’s mother, Babyn April Inocencio, admitted during the investigation that she has an “illicit relationship” with Gumilid.
Barbie, a Grade 10 student of the Notre Dame of Banga, was reported missing by her mother late Monday after she failed to return home from school and losing contact with her.
She was found with her hands tied and placed on a sack in a waterway past 2 p.m. Wednesday in Purok Bagong Silang, Barangay Punong Grande in Banga.
Corpus said the results of the initial investigation conducted by the scene-of-the-crime operatives showed that the victim could have died from drowning.
An autopsy conducted by Banga Municipal Health Office said the victim had wounds on her neck and head.
Corpus said the initial findings were still inconclusive as to whether Barbie was sexually abused and the regional crime laboratory has recommended a DNA testing regarding the matter.
The police official said he ordered investigators to dig deeper into the incident and determine the other possible cohorts of the suspect.
“We want our investigation to come out with a very clear case on this,” he said. (MindaNews)