Taguig kids died of thirst inside car, says NBI doc
The two young boys whose remains were found in a Mercedes Benz sedan in Taguig City on Tuesday four months after their disappearance died from severe dehydration, according to a medico legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation who conducted the autopsy.
Dr. Ruperto Sombilon of the NBI Forensic Division said Dayne Buenaflor, 3, and James Naraga, 4, may have “suffered terrible thirst before losing consciousness and, from there, tuloy-tuloy na (it was inevitable).”
They may have died “in a matter of hours,” he told the Inquirer on Wednesday.
Sombilon stated the exact cause of death as “cardiac respiratory arrest compatible with electrolyte imbalance due to severe dehydration.”
He also noted that the children were reported missing at the height of summer, March 27, the heat thus affecting their bodies’ ability to retain water.
The doctor said he found no signs of injury on the bodies. The heat inside the car also “mummified the skin tissues, but the internal organs had already decomposed.”
Meanwhile, Taguig police chief Senior Supt. Arthur Asis stuck to an earlier theory that the boys locked themselves up in the car by accident after wandering into a private parking lot on Dama de Noche Street, Barangay Wawa, not far from their homes.
“The kids may have gotten inside the car to play, then got locked in and fell asleep. In a closed space, they may have inhaled chemicals under the heat of the sun,” Asis said.
The black Mercedes Benz (UGX-606) belonged to Butch Valenzuela, whose family also owns the lot where four cars damaged by storms were parked. Asis said Valenzuela had admitted that the car’s lock mechanism was already faulty.
But Dayne’s mother Analyn, 25, found it hard to believe that the boys just got themselves trapped. “I don’t think my son could have opened a car door,” she told the Inquirer in an interview at Dayne’s wake Wednesday.
“He’s smart. He would have shouted (if indeed he was locked in) and pounded on the windows. Someone would have noticed,” she stressed.
The mother said she had searched the entire barangay after Dayne went missing around 10 a.m. on March 27, and that one of the places she immediately checked was the parking lot “since a lot of children play there.”
“I even looked underneath the cars,” she said.
Analyn also recalled that an hour after Dayne went missing, vendors in nearby Barangay San Miguel told her that they saw two boys holding hands along the C6 Road dike. The vendors described one of the boys as wearing a light blue shirt, which matched Dayne’s clothing the last time she saw him.
She said she had searched as far as Mindoro province, thinking her son may have been kidnapped by a crime syndicate.
Analyn started tearing up as she recalled her last moments with Dayne. “He had just bought two (bottles of) Coke from the store. One for him, and one for me. ‘Mama, this is for you,’ he said.”
The boy would have turned four on March 31, four days after he went missing.
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