Suspect named in murder of UPLB student in Biñan City
CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna—Police on Tuesday tagged a 19-year-old man with pending criminal cases as the suspect in the murder of a University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student, Maria Victoria Reyes, who was stabbed dead inside her home in Biñan City on Monday.
Senior Supt. Fausto Manzanilla, Laguna provincial police director, identified the suspect as Benigno Nayle, 19, of Barangay San Vicente, Biñan City.
Manzanilla said Nayle is facing several cases in Biñan courts for attempted homicide, direct assault, physical injuries and malicious mischief that were filed by a lone complainant in January this year.
Insp. Marlon Millendez, of the Biñan police, said a neighbor of Reyes saw Nayle rush out of the victim’s house through the front gate minutes after the murder.
Another witness said Nayle was seen returning to his home, just a few meters from the victim’s house, wearing a bloodstained shirt. The same witness said Nayle was seen minutes later leaving his house, wearing a bull cap and a fresh shirt. The suspect was also seen carrying a big bag, Millendez said.
Reyes, 19, a third year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student, was murdered past noon on Monday. She had a single stab wound near the left chest and was pronounced dead on arrival at University of Perpetual Help Biñan Hospital.
“How could they do it to her? My niece was too young, too small to have this done to her,” said the victim’s uncle, Manuel Reyes, a veterinarian, by phone.
According to Manuel, Maria Victoria was home alone, preparing to leave for her class in UPLB when she was attacked. “She was an only daughter,” he said.
Police said Reyes’ mother, Candida, was at work as a teacher at Carmona National High School in Cavite, while her father, Sixto, was running the family-owned funeral home, also in Carmona, when their daughter was attacked.
When Sixto came back, he found his daughter’s body in the bedroom. Police found no sign of forced entry into the victim’s bungalow home. “We are still trying to find out how, but it could be that the gate and the door were left open,” Millendez said.
Taken from the victim were her laptop, cell phone, digital camera and a still undetermined amount of cash.
Reyes was a member of an artists’ group in UPLB, the UP Painters’ Club.