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Spider hunting led 2 men to their deaths in Laguna

/ 03:40 PM August 29, 2019

SAN PEDRO CITY –– Two men, who were merely trying to catch spiders for an insect derby, were killed after they were thought to be police “assets” in San Pablo City, Laguna.

Police on Thursday were hunting down the gunman suspected of killing junk shop employee Jaymark Espregante, 20, and tricycle driver Dave Christian Garcia, 25.

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City police chief Lt. Col. Eliseo Bernales, in a phone interview Thursday, said they have identified the suspect based on the accounts of a lone survivor, a 16-year-old, who was with the victims when they forayed into a remote grassland in Barangay San Rafael at dawn on Wednesday.

“According to (the survivor), his friends went to the field, while he stayed behind (on the roadside) to watch their tricycle. He said they normally looked for spiders at dawn because that’s when the fiercest ones come out,” Bernales said.

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Spider derby is a form of street gambling common in the provinces where patrons place bets on spiders made to fight on a piece of stick.

While waiting around 2 a.m., the teen said the gunman suddenly arrived and held him at gunpoint

“It seemed the suspect was high (on drugs). (The teen) said he could not make out what (the suspect) was asking him but he was just forced to say ‘yes’ or (the suspect) would shoot him,” said Bernales.

After that, the suspect followed the trail to where the victims were, while the teen hurried home to seek help.

When the teen, along with policemen and village officials returned, they found Espregante dead.

Police were taking notes of the crime scene when someone found Garcia’s body in a 10 to 15-foot deep creek.

Both men had bullet wounds.

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He said the suspect had a girlfriend, who lived in the vicinity, and it was most likely that he chanced upon the victims on his way there.

“It was most likely that he went paranoid and thought the victims were police assets who were after him,” Bernales said./lzb

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TAGS: Killings, Laguna, Local news, San Pablo City, spider-hunting
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