Latest Stories

Police search Kae’s car for clues

P200k reward up


SAVED FROM THE FLAMES But can this abandoned Toyota Altis provide enough clues leading to its owner’s killers? KIMBERLY DELA CRUZ

It was as if it wanted to be found.

The car of slain advertising manager Kristelle “Kae” Davantes was recovered in a Las Piñas City subdivision around midnight Saturday, showing signs that whoever abandoned it had tried to set it on fire.

Thick smoke and a blaring alarm system roused the neighborhood and led authorities to the Toyota Altis that Davantes was last seen driving hours before she was found dead under a bridge in Silang, Cavite province, last week.

The metallic beige sedan was found at the dead end of Nickel Street inside Camella Homes, Barangay Pamplona 3. It reeked of diesel, with all the upholstered seats gone and the dashboard deformed by heat.

The discovery was made a few hours before Davantes’ interment at Manila Memorial Park on Sunday and as the police offered a P200,000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

The grieving family of slain advertising manager Kristelle “Kae” Davantes at her burial Sunday at Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque City KIMBERLY DELA CRUZ

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. described it as a major piece of evidence, saying “the killers possibly left fingerprints on the car.”

No less than President Aquino had ordered the NCRPO high command to solve the murder, leading to the creation of a special task group made up of different police units.

Davantes was a 24-year-old senior account manager for the Manila branch of MRM digital marketing agency under McCann Worldgroup Philippines. She was last seen driving her Altis (PIM 966) from a parking lot at Bonifacio Global City around 1 a.m. on Sept. 7.

She was found dead five hours later in Cavite, her mouth gagged with a handkerchief and hands bound with a car seatbelt strap. Authorities said she was strangled with wire and stabbed five times in the neck.

Around midnight Saturday, three watchmen in Barangay Pamplona 3 received reports from residents about a car sending up smoke and setting off an alarm that disturbed their neighborhood.

Village watchman Charley Cagay said the doors were all locked but the front hood was not, enabling him to remove the engine battery and prevent sparks that could trigger an explosion.

The car’s interior showed signs that a small fire had started, melting parts of the dashboard, before going out possibly due to lack of oxygen, Cagay noted.

The roof and other surfaces also appeared to have been doused with diesel. Also found inside the car were two empty bottles and pieces of children’s clothes that had been soaked in diesel.

“The person who could be behind the killing obviously tried to set the car on fire to get rid of the evidence,” said Chief Supt. Christopher Laxa, NCRPO deputy chief for operations and head of Task Force Davantes.

Residents noticed the car parked on Nickel Street as early as 9 a.m. Saturday.

The police were set to check on Sunday if security camera footage at the gates of Camella Homes could help establish who brought the vehicle inside the subdivision.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Kae’s car , Killing , Kristelle “Kae” Davantes

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  5. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  6. Town, DENR play tug-of-war over crocodile
  7. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  9. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  10. Motorcycle race ends in shooting; 1 killed, 6 hurt
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths
  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • SBMA execs, 2 others face graft raps
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Noisy celeb spews venom, backs off when confronted
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace