By JEL SANTOS
The man, who was initially regarded as a witness to the gruesome death of a 22-year-old bank employee in Pasig City, was arrested by police yesterday after his fingerprints were found on the body and cellphone of the victim.
The suspect, Randy Oavenada, 37, driver of Timber Port Enterprises, was apprehended hours before his victim, Mabel Cama, a Malayan Bank teller, was buried yesterday in her hometown in Bicol.
Cama was found dead at an impounding area of Mega Bus Line on Ortigas Avenue in Barangay Rosario, Pasig City, on November 12. The lower part of her body, including her genital, was totally burnt.
Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) said Cama’s cause of death was traumatic head injuries inflicted by a blunt instrument.
On Saturday, the Eastern Police District (EPD) bared that Oavenada tested positive for illegal drug use. Among the five persons of interest who took the drug test, he was the only one who failed.
Oavenada was earlier considered as a witness, but due to his “inconsistent statements”, probers had a hint that he was trying to cover up something.
Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra Jr., Pasig City police chief, said they learned from the result of the post-mortem examination conducted by SOCO that the fingerprints of Oavenada were found on the victim’s body and cellphone.
“I was informed by the SOCO that fingerprints of Oavenda were on the body and cellphone of Cama. Due to this, we immediately went to his house and nabbed him,” he said.
“After all, the pieces of evidence don’t lie.”
A police team arrested Oavenda in his house in Barangay Rosario, Pasig, at around 9:30 a.m.
“Before, Oavenda told us that he was the first one who saw the body. He even said that he did not touch anything. My men immediately preserved the crime scene,” Yebra said.
However, Yebra said that the crime was not solved yet, saying he believes that there were other men involved in the killing.
“It is very impossible that he is the only one who did such intricate cover up. That’s not a work of a lone man,” he explained.
“We are now working to find the other suspects behind the death of the bank employee,” he said.
Meanwhile, the suspect refused to be interviewed after his arrest.
A businessman, who asked not to be named, has doubled the reward money offered by Paracale, Camarines Norte Mayor Lourdes Villamonte, raising it to P100,000.
Police said that witnesses who could further shed light on the case may coordinate with policemen to get the reward.
Oavenada is now detained at Pasig City Police headquarters.