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Suspect in Australian’s slay nabbed

 

By HANAH TABIOS

 

31bethea photo

MUGSHOT OF murder suspect Kenneth Darnell Bethea taken at Pasig City police station. (Photo courtesy of Eastern Police District)

THE suspect in the murder of an Australian businessman inside an office in a Pasig City condominium allegedly tried to commit suicide when he was cornered by police at the basement of the same building on Wednesday afternoon, a day after the victim’s body was found.

Operatives of Pasig City Police Station Follow-up Unit arrested Kenneth Darnell Bethea, 58, male, for allegedly killing Lambros Zervas, whose body with multiple stab wounds was found Tuesday afternoon inside his office at the Lily Carpet Cleaning Services, Unit 425, Building L Commercial One Oasis Condominium Hub-A on Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig City.

Police located Bethea at the parking basement of the same condominium around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

In a video provided by the Eastern Police District (EPD), arresting police officers headed by Pasig City police chief Senior Superintendent Rizalito Gapas, tried to approach the suspect but he hurriedly climbed the hood of a parked vehicle and tied a rope to a water pipe above the basement’s ceiling in an attempt to commit suicide.

Responding police officers negotiated for the suspect’s surrender.

The suspect first requested for a juice drink, to which the cops obliged by throwing a bottle of juice at him.

Police told the suspect to catch the bottle on the count of three but he fell to the ground as he reached for it, giving the cops a chance to get hold of him.

Further investigation also revealed that prior to the incident, Bethea called the victim’s wife, Rocelyn Zervas, and demanded money.

However, the wife refused to give him because she was not aware of the business transaction between her husband and the suspect.

After the conversation, Rocelyn could no longer contact the victim which prompted her to call her staff, Diosdado Gregorio, who later found the victim already lifeless and covered with blood inside his office Tuesday afternoon. The victim’s head was covered with a plastic garbage bag.

Police said suspect also tried to hide or at least delay the discovery of the crime by changing the office’s door knob right after killing the victim.

Police earlier reported that prior to the discovery of the victim’s death, a certain Aileen Rose Acopicop saw Bethea, an American, also residing the same building, hurriedly coming out Zervas’ office.

Bethea is now detained at Pasig City Police Station and facing murder charges.

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