New body, new crime

-Mr. X could have been killed, dumped inside burnt mall

POLICE investigators are digging deeper into the case of the remains found inside the burnt NCCC Mall.
This after autopsy result shows that the still unidentified man died just around two weeks ago.

The investigation will include the identifying of the victim and the tampering of the crime scene.

Chief Insp. Ronald Lao, Talomo Police Precinct commander, said they are investigating workers and officials who are undertaking the demolition of the NCCC Mall.

“There is a probability that the victim is a worker,” Lao told ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol yesterday afternoon.

The body sustained third degree burns and is in a state of decomposition for 12 to 16 days – or he was killed some time in the last week of June up to the first week of July. The body was found on July 11 — six months after the fire — by laborer named Rudy Manatad.

Lao said the demolition team was already operating at the mall by the time that the crime happened.
The DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), through Asdec Builders, started on May 19 the four-month demolition of the NCCC Mall that was severely damaged by fire on Dec. 23.

There are at least 300 laborers currently doing the demolition. Lao said they are also tracing 22 former laborers who were relieved, transferred or fired from work.

Most of the relieved laborers were said to be from Manila.

“Let’s check if all of them returned home,” Lao said. “We will ask the relatives if they (the laborers) really returned home.

He said the burnt mall now has high fence and it is very remote that looters or outsiders could still enter the area.

Before the property was fenced, Lao said security staff endorsed someone to the Talomo police precinct for salvaging scrap irons. That someone, Lao said, was confirmed to have returned home.

Lao said they will look into the master list of the workers.

“Let’s check attendance,” the police station commander said.

They are also tracing if laborers observed any suspicious activity during that time, or they could have seen a man wearing the outfit similar to the one worn by the victim.

The victim was said to be wearing a polo shirt. A silver-colored watch was also recovered. The skeleton was found beneath a pile of damaged ceramic plate at the porcelain area.

Members of the demolition team who found the body will also be investigated for tampering with the crime scene.

The remains were already placed in a Styrofoam box when police investigators arrived at the crime scene.

“They should have not touched anything,” Lao said.

Sr. Insp. Bernie Suaga, Lao’s deputy, said they have not received any recent report on a missing person.

As the autopsy report established that the body is a male victim, the earlier theory that it could be Alexandra Moreno-Castillo is now put to rest.

Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil GiIllado earlier said they are now discounting the possibility that it’s Castillo, the last of the claimed victims.

Relatives of Castillo only settled for a key chain and a body part found at the fire scene.

The NCCC Mall was burned on Dec. 23. killing 37 call center agents and one NCCC Mall security officer. All were already claimed.