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Foul play eyed in maid’s death

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Police probers are eyeing foul play in the death of a housemaid inside her employers’ house in a posh subdivision last week in Quezon City.

Mary Jane Gozon, 30, of Matalom, Leyte, was found dead in her bed by fellow housemaids in their quarters at a businessman’s house on Jade Street in Meiling Village, Barangay Pag-ibig sa Nayon, at 6 a.m. last June 7.

Gozon’s death seemed plain as there were no signs of forced entry and commotion in the house before she was discovered lifeless, police said.

The Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU) even placed Gozon’s case under the “Found Dead Body” category of their blotter with cause yet to be determined, although investigators initially believed she died of a natural cause.

However, a new twist in the case cropped up after police got the results of the autopsy conducted on Gozon’s body indicating that she died of asphyxia (loss of oxygen) due to strangulation.

The June 7 autopsy report was signed by medico-legal officer Chief Inspector Annalee Palima of the QCPD Crime Laboratory, according to the police.

Police bared that when Gozon was brought to the Manila Central University Hospital in Caloocan City, one of the employers asked the policemen not to subject her body to an autopsy. The cops turned down the request.

“Only the relatives of the deceased can refuse the post-mortem examination,” said one of the investigators.

The QCPD-CIDU gave the go signal for the autopsy because the employer could not connect them to the relatives and confirm the request.

During the autopsy, investigators noticed a faint ligature mark on Mary Jane’s neck.

“It was not seen in the cursory examination since it was covered by Mary Jane’s hair. It was also almost unnoticeable since it was light,” the investigator said.

Probers also noticed the “refusal” of Gozon’s employers and fellow housemaids to cooperate in the investigation.

On June 9, the QCPD-CIDU sent invitations to the members of the household – two employers, two housemaids and a personal tutor – to appear and give statements about Gozon’s death.

Police also requested copies of closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages inside and around the house to shed light on the events before Gozon was found dead on her bed.

But, as of June 13, the QCPD-CIDU has not received a single response from any of them, according probers.

Investigators went to the subdivision but they were only entertained by a housemaid who told them that their employers were attending to their PVC manufacturing plant in Caloocan.

Probers were also surprised to learn that the employer’s lawyer made Gozon’s mother sign an agreement regarding Gozon death.

On June 11, Rosita Gozon, 55, went to the QCPD to give her statement to police, hoping she could claim her daughter’s body and be brought home to their hometown in Barangay Sto. Niño, Matalom, Leyte.

Rosita said she was informed by the employers that Mary Jane died in her sleep and they later asked her to sign an agreement.

“Pinapirma kami ng anak ko ng kasunduan na ang nilalaman (ay) ‘Hindi kami magdedemanda sa taong pumatay sa anak ko.’

Pero sasagutin nila lahat ng gastusin para maiuwi ang bangkay ng aking anak,” Rosita said in a her sworn statement, a copy of which was obtained by Tempo.

Police further learned that the victim’s mother was not capable of signing such an agreement because she “did not know how to read well and write in the Filipino language, because (she) only finished Grade 3.”

Rosita said it was her other daughter Susana who wrote the terms dictated by the employer’s lawyer. She did not have her own lawyer while signing the agreement.

Police said the lawyer did not provide the mother a copy of the said agreement.

Rosita, however, told police she was not forced by the employers and willingly signed the deal. She added that she will not pursue the case should evidence prove that Mary Jane was murdered.

“Basta panagutan nila ang gastusin sa pagpapalibing at maiuwi ang anak ko sa probinsya. Pero kapag hindi sila tumupad sa usapan namin ay magdedemanda kami sa kanila,” she said.

Police learned that Mary Jane had been working for her employers for seven years since she was 23 years old. She was paid R5,000 a month, which she regularly send to her family in Leyte.

The QCPD-CIDU has not approved yet the release of Mary Jane’s remains.

Investigators are waiting for the appearance of the employers at the police station to shed light on Mary Jane’s mysterious death.