Dehydration and suffocation killed two missing kids in Taguig City
This is how the police described the incident that took the lives of two children who were missing for four months and found dead inside a parked car in Taguig City.
Severe dehydration at suffocation killed Dayne Buenaflor, 3, and James Naraga, 4, a television report aired on GMA’s “24 Oras” newcast on Wednesday said. They were last seen playing hide and seek with other neighborhood kids on March 27.
About four months after their mysterious disappearances, the children’s decomposing bodies were found on Tuesday, inside a black Mercedes Benz parked in a private garage in front of Brgy. Wawa's barangay hall. The kids were residents of the same barangay.
Their bodies were discovered by laborers, whom the car's owner had hired to clean-out what was then thought to be a dead animal inside the vehicle.
"Sa kotse na po ‘yun may pinapaalis daw na patay na hayop. Tapos nung binuksan ko na po ‘yung kotse, (lumabas) na po ‘yung amoy. At nung sinilip ko po ‘yung loob ng kotse nakita ko po patay na bata,” said laborer Alvin Bionisio.
Based on their initial findings, the police ruled out a kidnapping.
“Wala po tayong nakitang any sign of struggle or nagkaroon ng torture or may sinaktan doon sa mga bata kaya base on other circumstances parang lumalabas na as of now, freak accident ang nangyari,” Taguig acting police chief Sr. Supt. Arthur Felix Asis said.
Despite this, the police will still continue with its efforts to find witnesses who may have seen the children playing in the parking space. They may also invite the car and the parking space’s owner for questioning.
According to the television report, neighborhood kids usually play inside the gated garage owned by the Valenzuela family. The black car, where the kids were found, were among the other cars abandoned in the parking space because they were damaged by Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009.
An earlier report quoted Southern Police District director Chief Superintendent Jose Erwin Villacorte saying that the area has been checked by police. However, they may not have inspected the cars more thoroughly.
“Maraming kwento o usap na chineck na ‘yan [parking lot] dati. Kaya gusto talaga naming malaman sa imbestigasyon na gagawin ng ating kapulisan kung ano ba ang nangyari. Bakit hindi nila nakita noong una,” he said.
“Maaaring umikot lang kasi sila pero hindi nila siguro sinilip ang looban ng mga sasakyan dito," Villacorte added.
It has been surmised that the car's child lock mechanism had activated when the children slipped inside, so they could not open the doors from the inside. Also, the vehicle is heavily tinted, maiking it difficult to see inside the car.
Emil Sumangil reported that the children may have been struggling to get out of the car because their finger prints were found all-over the car.
Although the barangay hall has a CCTV camera with a view of the parking lot, the gadget has been broken even before the children’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, the parents were still in disbelief about their children's fate.
“Masakit na masakit sa akin kasi imbes na ako ang ililibing ng anak ko di ba, ‘yun pala ako mag-aano sa kanya. Sobrang sakit. Ang dami ko ng pinuntahan [pero] doon ko lang pala makikita,” Analyn Buenaflor, Dayne’s mother, said in a separate television report.
Aside from looking in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Laguna, Cavite and Rizal, an earlier report said that the parents and relatives of the deceased have gone as far as Pangasinan, Mindoro and Bicol to search for the kids.
“Hindi ko kayang tanggapin. Masama sa loob namin. Sa sarili namin, humihingi kami ng tawad sa anak namin kung bakit nila niranas ‘yun kasi hindi naming ginusto ‘yung nangyari. Kumbaga, ginawa naming lahat para hanapin silang dalawa. Kung saan-saan kami nakakarating,” James’ mother Esther Beltran lamented.
For his part, James’ father Lauro Naraga said: “Mahirap tanggapin dahil laging tumatanim sa isipan ko, sabagay siguro masaya na rin ang anak ko. Pero ‘yung kaso na ‘yun, hindi para aming palagpasin. Paiimbestigahan namin.” — Rouchelle R. Dinglasan/DVM, GMA News