“Kidnapped” couple from the city of Minglanilla dead in San Fernando, Cebu. found

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Police lock down the Strada pickup truck that was parked along the street in Barangay Tananas, San Fernando, after 7pm on Friday June 18 Photo by Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A couple from Barangay Tubod, Minglanilla City, have been reported missing since Wednesday evening June 16.

Their bodies were found two days later in their vehicle parked along the road in the mountain barangay of Tananas in the town of San Fernando, which is about 38 kilometers from where they live.

And businessman Gavino Sanchez, 49, and his wife Arlene Sanchez, the 47-year-old public school teacher, were already dead when they were found after 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18.

Police corporal Mario Paul Tino of the San Fernando Police Station said they found the couple after responding to information provided by Tananas residents about the presence of a parked vehicle in their area.

Tino said residents called their barangay hall Friday night to report there was a Strada pickup truck that had been parked on the street for two days and the engine was still on.

A foul odor was also detected from inside the vehicle, he said.

Barangay officers were the ones who called the San Fernando Police Station to seek police help. Barangay Tananas is 30 minutes from Barangay Poblacion, where the police station is located.

Based on their investigation, residents heard at least six gunshots around 1 a.m. on Thursday or the day before the bodies were found.

When they opened the vehicle, they found the bodies of Gavino and Arlene in the back seat.

Police also secured six empty cartridges and one fired cartridge in the vehicle.

However, they could not find the murder weapon.

A relative who did not want to be named told reporters they were not dismissing robbery as a possible motive for the murder of Gavino and Arlene.

The couple, he said, do various businesses like catering, water replenishment and lending while also owning an apartment.

After they were allegedly abducted somewhere in Minglanilla town at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Gavino went home around 10 p.m. that day to get cash and some items from her house. But then he was alone.

Gavino is said to have told his daughter, who was at home when he arrived, to always eat well. Then he went and said that her mother was waiting outside.

As part of their ongoing investigation, Tino said they are continuing to track when, where and how the alleged abduction took place as they were unable to find witnesses to corroborate the family’s claim.

Tino said they didn’t know about the alleged kidnapping until after Gavino’s daughter visited the Minglanilla Police Station at around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 17 to file a missing person report. And as of this writing, everything the police know is based on information provided by Gavino’s family.

Even Gavino’s daughter couldn’t tell how much cash her father had taken from her safe Thursday night and brought with him.

“All in all, unfortunately 10 in Gabie Niadtong June 16, niuli all the papa, who is not there today, took more than a butang, 10 minutes daw. Nilakaw rapod dayun kay nagpaabot iyang asawa sa sakyanan, ”said Police Master Sergeant Junyl Ater, an officer at the Minglanilla Police Station.

(The daughter said her father came home around 10pm on June 16 for something, and he only stayed in her house for about 10 minutes. He left immediately and said his wife was waiting for the vehicle.)

As of this writing, police in the city of San Fernando are still coordinating with their colleagues in the city of Minglanilla in their investigation into the murder of the Sanchez couple.

They are also waiting for the report from the Criminal Police Office (SOCO) staff who processed the crime scene.

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San Fernando bust: 1 dead, 1 captured; P27k Shabu confiscated

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