TWO Americans have been charged with murder in connection with the death of an American woman whose naked body was fished out of the Pasig River in Manila Sunday.
SPO2 Jamar Sabre, the case investigator, said charges were filed yesterday before the Mandaluyong prosecutors’ office against Troy Woody Jr., 21, and Mir Islam, 22, both identified as chief executive officers of Luxr Limited Liability Co., a lending firm based in the United States.
The suspects were arrested by Manila police Sunday and turned over to their counterpart in Mandaluyong where the crime was allegedly committed.
The victim, identified as Tomi Michelle Masters, 23, of Indiana, was allegedly stuffed inside a large box, carried into the trunk of a Grab car and dumped into the river hours before the suspects’ arrest.
The suspects were positively identified by John Kenneth Quimba, the Grab driver who picked them up around 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a condominium in Barangay Highway Hills in Mandaluyong, according to Manila Police District chief Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr.
Quimba told police that the suspects placed the box inside the vehicle’s rear trunk and asked to be brought to a nearby shopping mall.
However, Quimba told police that the suspects changed their mind and told him to bring them to the Baseco compound in Manila where they allegedly dropped the box into the river around 3 a.m.
Quimba immediately reported the incident to the Manila Police General Assignment and Investigation Section which referred the incident to the Ermita Police Station.
Police eventually recovered the box that contained the naked body of the victim that was wrapped in duct tape.
Personnel from the MPD homicide team in coordination with the Mandaluyong City Police Station conducted a follow-up operation, which led to the arrest of Woody and Islam.
Sabre said the victim arrived in the country on Dec. 8 and booked a condominium unit in Mandaluyong until Dec. 15.
“Humingi siya ng extension hanggang Dec. 22,” Sabre said.
Supt. Igmedio Bernaldez, Ermita Police station head, said the victim was believed to have been killed in the Mandaluyong condominium she shared with Woody, her alleged boyfriend.
He said medical examination showed scratch marks all over Woody’s body.
It was unclear if Woody and Masters arrived together in the country.
“Ang sabi niya (Woody) sa amin mga isang buwan na daw siya sa Pilipinas,” he said.
Islam, on the other hand, had been staying longer in an Ermita condominium.
Sabre said they are still waiting for the results of the autopsy of the victim to determine the cause of her death.
Sabre said the suspects continued to insist their innocence.
“Si Islam sabi niya tumulong lang daw siya sa pagkarga ng box. Wala daw siya kinalaman,” he said. (Erma Edera)