Missing 2-year-old boy found dead inside teenage neighbor’s bedroom
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga — The body of a 2-year-old boy, who went missing on Wednesday, Nov. 23, while playing in front of his grandparents’ house, was found Thursday morning inside the bedroom of a teenage neighbor at Barangay Green Village, Concepcion, Tarlac province.
Family members and relatives of Axcel Castro have been posting about his disappearance since late Wednesday afternoon and even offered a P20,000-reward for any information that would lead to finding him.
But shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday, his body was found inside the bedroom of a 16-year-old female neighbor, who is now in the custody of Concepcion municipal police.
Lieutenant Colonel Noriel Rombaoa, chief of the Concepcion police, told the Inquirer that the boy was seen last at 1:50 p.m. on Wednesday playing on Jasmin St. in Green Village. He disappeared around 2 p.m.
Rombaoa said it was the 16-year-old high school student herself who called the attention of the boy’s parents and family that he was in her room.
This was confirmed by the boy’s mother, Liziel Castro, 33, in a phone interview.
“We heard her (teenage suspect) screaming about Axcel being inside her room. We immediately went to their house and found her parents there. ‘Go inside my daughter’s room, your son is there,’ the mother told me,” Castro said.
Castro and the other family members dashed to the room and were shocked to see the boy, who was no longer breathing.
The presence of village officials and other people, and the prompt arrival of the police, prevented a violent confrontation between the boy’s family and the teenage girl and her parents.
Rombaoa said his men took custody of the suspect, who had confessed to the crime.
Rombaoa added that the municipal police women’s protection desk and municipal social welfare and development officers heard the suspect’s confession.
“The suspect said she showed a ball to the boy and asked him to go with her to their house. The boy took the ball and went with her. But while inside the house, the boy started to cry, and was looking for his mother. She (suspect) said she was forced to cover the boy’s face with a pillow to silence him,” Rombaoa said.
The municipal police chief said the boy probably died of suffocation, but added that scene-of-the-crime operatives have yet to conduct an autopsy on the boy’s body to establish the actual cause of the latter’s death.
He said the municipal police and the social welfare and development offices were set to bring the teenage suspect and her parents to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) of Tarlac for legal advice.
“We will seek the PAO’s advice if we could detain the suspect or turn her over to the DSWD,” he said, adding that they would file a murder charge against the suspect.
“The case to be filed should be murder, not homicide, because the crime seemed to be premeditated. She planned to lure the innocent young boy to go with her by showing him a ball,” he said.
Rombaoa said they would consider the possible liability of the teenage suspect’s mother and stepfather.
“Her mother told us she was surprised that her daughter slept in their room instead of her own room last night. We have yet to see if her mother could be considered an accessory to the crime.”
The town police chief said the municipal police had issued a flash alarm about the missing boy on Wednesday night, after they received the report about it.
“We could not yet create a municipal committee on a missing person without waiting 24 hours to pass, as required by regulations,” Rombaoa said.
The boy’s mother told the Inquirer that she and the suspect have been at odds with each other, particularly on Facebook, for over three years.
But Castro said she had no clue why the girl had been angry with her. INQ
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