Cops suspect foul play in death of accused in rape, murder of 17-year-old
CEBU CITY—Police are suspecting foul play in the death of the man accused of the murder of a 17-year-old girl who was last year found dead half-naked with the skin on her face scraped off.
The man in jail facing trial for the gruesome crime, Renato Llenes, 43, was found hanging in the bathroom near his detention cell at the Lapu-Lapu City jail past 6 a.m. on Sunday (May 24).
Supt. Jessie Calumpang, Lapu-Lapu jail warden, said in an interview that several pices of cloth from a prisoner’s uniform were used to form a rope that was tied around Llenes’ neck.
Llenes was rushed to hospital but died there.
Calumpang said he suspected foul play in the death of Llenes, the accused in the killing and rape of Christine Silawan, whose body was found half-naked and the skin on her face scraped off on a vacant lot at the village of Bangkal, Lapu-Lapu City on March 11, 2019.
“Usually, when a person commits suicide, his or her tongue sticks out and saliva goes out of the mouth,” said Calumpang, describing how police found Llenes. “But when we saw him his face was normal. His tongue did not stick out and there was no saliva,” he said.
Llenes’ remains would be autopsied.
Calumpang also said Llenes had been receiving death threats while inside the jail.
“That’s why we isolated him. There were only four of them inside the detention cell,” he said.
Calumpang said Llenes’ fellow inmates claimed they did not hear any commotion on the night the detainee died.
“That is why we are conducting an investigation to find out what really happened,” Calumpang said.
Llenes has admitted to killing Silawan following his arrest.
He had said he stabbed Silawan with scissors after learning the girl had a boyfriend. He told police he used a dummy Facebook account to become friends with Silawan.
When they finally met, Silawan was reportedly disappointed that Llenes didn’t look like the man she chatted with on Facebook.
After raping Silawan, Llenes said he skinned the girl’s face so she would not be identified.
Llenes, who admitted he was high on drugs when he committed the crime, said he learned how to remove skin from a human face in a YouTube tutorial.
He had said he was bothered by his conscience and decided to surrender and confess to the crime.