Hammer and gun next to dead man, wife, sonBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Residents of Barangay 251, Zone 23 in Tondo, Manila, were shocked by a grisly discovery on Wednesday noon: Jeweler Nelson Cruzat, his wife Cecil and their 8-year-old son “CM” were found dead in their bedroom.
The way the bodies lay on the second floor of the family’s apartment at the corner of Alameda and San Nicolas streets provided telling clues for investigators: On the bed, the boy lay on his side with a wound on his head and a hammer near his feet. Beside him was the mother, her head wrapped in a blood-soaked blanket, hair strands on her fingers.
The father was found slumped on the side of the bed. He had a bullet hole on his head and a 9-mm pistol next to his hand.
Manila Police District (MPD) deputy chief Senior Insp. Ismael de la Cruz said it was possible that Cruzat struck his son with the hammer as he slept, wrapped Cecil’s head in a blanket to muffle her screams before hitting her as well, and then shot himself.
The family was living with Cecil’s mother, who found the bodies Wednesday morning. Earlier, she repeatedly knocked on the bedroom door to take the boy to school but got no response. She later sought the help of neighbors to force the door open.
She said she heard an explosion before dawn, but thought it was just a firecracker that went off not far from the house.
MPD Tondo station commander Supt. Ernesto Tendero said the apartment showed no signs of forced entry.
“We are shocked. We can’t imagine why this happened. This is just tragic,” said the barangay chair, Renato del Mundo. “Nelson was a good man. No police records. Never a troublemaker,” he said in Filipino.
The official added that Nelson Cruzat was also a “jolly” person who had a few drinks with him and the other neighbors on occasion.
But Del Mundo recalled that on Tuesday night, Cruzat was seen walking home “looking troubled.” Cruzat’s mother-in-law also disclosed that the family had financial problems.