Negative paraffin test for cop’s family in shooting probe

Photo Courtesy of Ariel Apas via One Western Visayas

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) will conduct a separate investigation into the mysterious death of 44-year-old Police Staff Sergeant Lernie Alacha, who was assigned to Sagay City Police Station as a beat patroller.

Police Captain Judesses Catalogo, Nocppo’s public information officer, reported yesterday that paraffin tests conducted on Alacha’s live-in partner and two children, ages 8 and 12, who were initially considered persons of interest, yielded negative results.

“They were negative for the presence of ammonium nitrate,” he added.

Catalogo explained that several factors could affect the results of the paraffin test, including clothing, room condition, skin condition, and human activities.

“It’s possible that the ammonium nitrate transferred to their clothes instead of their hands, or there might have been strong air circulation in the room affecting the substance’s direction. They might have applied something on their skin, such as lotion or other skin care products, or they might have engaged in physical activity prior to the test,” Catalogo said.

Despite the negative results, Catalogo emphasized that the case remains open as they await the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) report and the autopsy results, which are expected to guide their investigation.

“The SOCO report will clarify the position, how evidence was collected, the location of the victim’s body, and the shooter’s position, among other details,” he said.

He added that an autopsy report is expected later this week, which will determine the victim’s cause of death, the entry and exit points of the wound, and other relevant circumstances.

Catalogo also confirmed that the live-in partner and the two children were inside the house when Alacha suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the neck in their bedroom in Barangay Andres Bonifacio, Sagay City, on April 27.

Earlier reports incorrectly stated that Alacha’s eight-year-old son, initially thought to be seven, was suspected of shooting his father after allegedly witnessing an argument between his parents.

However, the police clarified that it is not yet certain the child was involved, as other possibilities are being explored.

The Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Unit has been directed to assist in the investigation.

“We will collect all possible pieces of evidence, including statements from those familiar with or knowledgeable about the incident, from neighbors who might have witnessed something significant, and from the persons of interest,” Catalogo added.


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