Durolfo death: Test proves drug use but…
Although she tested positive for amphetamine—a “dangerous drug” and possible component of ecstasy—this did not prove that Edgel Joy Durolfo died of a drug overdose as claimed by the four suspects charged with her death.
Angelo Niño Santos, the lawyer of the victim’s family, said on Tuesday that the results of the toxicology analysis conducted by the Southern Police District’s Crime Laboratory only indicated that it may
be true that Durolfo and her companions—Rodney Ynchausti, Molo Hwang, Josiebell Uy and Paul Egoc—took ecstasy pills when they partied inside a room at the Solaire Resort and Casino on Feb. 25.
This was hours before the 26-year-old Solaire assistant manager was brought to the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City where she passed away the following day.
“[The toxicology report] only shows [Durolfo] is positive for amphetamine, a dangerous drug…. Assuming, let’s work on the theory they all took ecstasy. [The results on her will really turn out] positive,” said Santos.
He spoke to reporters after a hearing at the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office which is conducting a preliminary investigation of the murder charges filed against Ynchausti, Hwang, Uy and Egoc.
The one-page report prepared by Senior Insp. Rendielyn Sahagun, forensic chemist at the SPD Crime Lab, said that the positive results came from an analysis of Durolfo’s blood and urine samples. A screening test on the contents of her stomach, on the other hand, came up negative for “dangerous drugs.”
According to Santos, the autopsy report initially released by the police already showed that Durolfo’s cause of death was [asphyxia due to] manual strangulation, the same one listed in the death certificate issued by the hospital.
He said that while the suspects’ lawyers were “free to contest” these results, these were “conclusive.”
“There are two institutions which already concluded that is the cause of death,” Santos told reporters, noting that neither of the suspects had offered an explanation on why Durolfo had “bruises, bite marks and beatings.”
Their defense consisted only of denials which he described as a “weak defense.” The suspects earlier said that the victim had bumped into furniture while jumping and dancing inside the hotel room.
“Something really happened inside [that hotel room] which they refused to disclose…. Yes, definitely [they are trying to hide something]. And they are all in cahoots in this,” Santos said.
However, Ynchausti’s lawyer, who also spoke to reporters after the proceedings, said that neither his client nor any of the other suspects had committed foul play.
“Even all the witnesses will attest to that. They may be guilty of something but it’s not murder. Definitely not murder,” Pelagio Lawrence Cuison said.
He added that his client “doesn’t understand why the [autopsy] report [pointed to] strangulation because he really didn’t strangle his fiancée.”
“And no one actually did. We [also] don’t understand the [findings in the] medico-legal [report]. We intend to address that in [my client’s] counteraffidavit,” he said.
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