Despite suspect’s death, Karen Montebon’s case not yet closed, says father
CEBU CITY—For the family of murdered student Karen Kaye Montebon, justice has not been fully served despite the death of a suspect on Tuesday.
Montebon’s father, James, wants authorities to charge the live-in partner of Ruben Fernandez, believed by police to be the killer and whose body was found on an islet in Bohol province. He does not believe the woman’s claim that she had nothing to do with the death of his daughter, a 17-year-old accountancy student, inside their house in Lapu-Lapu City.
“[Fernandez’s death] is not enough … because he had a companion in [entering] our house. No case has been filed against her,” said James, referring to Jenalyn Soon.
Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, Lapu-Lapu City police director, ruled out filing a case against Soon, saying investigators had no evidence that she took part in killing Montebon in the family’s house in Corinthians Subdivision. “Doing so would be an exercise of futility and waste of … time,” Radoc said.
Soon admitted to police that she and Fernandez went to the Montebons’ house on Sept. 15 to check if her sister, who is based in Hawaii, had sent money to her through the victim’s mother. At that time, the victim was the only one inside the house after her parents and elder sibling left for work and school.
Soon said Fernandez dropped her off outside the subdivision and told her he needed to gas up for his motorcycle. She said she did not know that Fernandez had returned to the house and took Montebon’s jewelry, electronic gadgets and camera before killing her.
A footage from a closed-circuit television camera showed that Soon was left outside the subdivision while Fernandez went back to the house.
Policemen went to the island of Nasingin off Getafe town in Bohol on Tuesday afternoon to pick up Fernandez after Soon had told them of his whereabouts. They, however, found Fernandez dead near the shoreline, with bullet wounds in the head and chest.
Soon, who investigators considered a major witness, was cleared by police after she cooperated in the investigation. But James believed she should be charged with his daughter’s murder because she and Fernandez went inside their house.
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