Lad’s murder might be a case of mistaken identity – police

Police probe the brutal killing of a young man who was found on top of a tomb in a cemetery in Barangay Granada, Bacolod City Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Police Station 5)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Police said the brutal killing of a young man inside a cemetery in Barangay Granada here last Wednesday might be a case of mistaken identity.

Captain John Christopher Masangkay, head of Police Station 5, said that Darwin Nuñez, 22, of Barangay Estefania here, was found lifeless atop a tomb after he failed to go home Tuesday night.

Masangkay said that Nuñez was accompanied by his 18-year-old friend Tuesday night to meet two unidentified men at the cemetery for an alleged illegal drug transaction.

Masangkay said that according to Nuñez’s friend, the victim met with his clients, who reportedly bought suspected marijuana from him.

After Nuñez’s clients allegedly paid for the contraband, the victim along with his friend then allegedly took the suspected marijuana from their source in Barangay Vista Alegre here, and later returned to the cemetery, Masangkay said.

But one of the victim’s clients told him to help find his wallet that allegedly fell in the area while they were talking, in exchange for P500 worth of gasoline.

Masangkay said that Nuñez accompanied his two clients inside the cemetery again while the victim’s friend waited for him on board his motorcycle.

But a few minutes later, Nuñez’s friend allegedly heard the victim shouting “wala ko to ya nong (I wasn’t there, sir),” prompting him to flee, leaving the victim behind due to fear.

The following day, Nuñez’s body was found with an incised wound in his stomach and neck.

Police later reached out to the victim’s friend for more information.

Masangkay said Nuñez’s friend narrated to the police what happened, which also coincided with the messages found on the victim’s cellular phone that was recovered from the scene.

Masangkay said that a kitchen knife and a helmet were also recovered from the scene but they could not confirm yet if the weapon was used in the incident.

On Thursday morning, Masangkay said that police found out that the target of the two perpetrators was not the victim but Nuñez’s friend, after the latter identified the owner of the recovered helmet.

Masangkay said that Nuñez’s friend revealed to them that the helmet was owned by the father of his girlfriend, whom he left while being pregnant with their child in Iloilo.

Masangkay said the victim’s friend also told them that he had previous threats but didn’t mind it at first until the incident happened.

Despite looking at the incident as a case of mistaken identity due to grudges, Masangkay said that illegal drugs can still be considered as a secondary angle because of the alleged transaction prior to the killing.

Masangkay said that it was Nuñez’s friend who initially transacted with the perpetrators but since he confessed to the police that he was just a (marijuana) user, he referred them to the victim, whom he claimed to be his alleged source of the contraband.

“Daw gin transact lang nila (perpetrators) ang duwa, para makakitaay sila kag mahimo siguro ila tuyo, ugaling kay nasal-an lang ang biktima,” the station commander added.

Masangkay said they already have a lead, but he believed that the perpetrators were probably just hired to commit the crime.

Masangkay said the victim’s body was subjected to an autopsy.