TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains potentially distressing materials.

Questions remain about whether a body found Tuesday morning in Sitio Pulang Lupa, Brgy. Sta. Lourdes is indeed that of the missing Jovelyn Galleno. This, as police investigators said, was because a suspect, a relative of the missing person, had confessed to committing her rape and murder.

In an official statement, the city police said they will await the results of an ongoing forensic investigation into the recovered remains of a person apparently dumped in an open field and already in a skeletal stage of decomposition, even as the family of Galleno confirmed that the belongings found at the same site were those of Jovelyn. Among those were a wallet, identification cards, a vaccination card, and other personal belongings.

Some doctors, however, said on social media that they didn’t believe the skeletal remains were those of Jovelyn because it’s not possible for a human body to change into that state in only two weeks.

“From a doctor’s point of view who at the same time acts as a medicolegal officer who conducted numerous autopsies, wala pong ganito kabilis na 2 weeks lang bungo at kalansay na agad,” Dr. Eunice Herrera said in a Facebook post.

“May certain days, weeks and months bago nadedecay ang body kahit pa iconsider natin ang weather condition ngayon na ulan init. [Kung si Jovelyn talaga yung bangkay] dapat nasa stage of decomposition palang yan since 2 weeks pa lang naman nawawala,” she added.

Dr. Fi Atencio also shared the same thoughts in a separate post.

“I seldom post regarding social issues, but as a physician, I think it is alright to educate the public. May stages po ang Decomposition of the Human Body and it starts 4 minutes after a human dies. It starts from the first stage where the body digests itself. Maninigas at maguumpisang magdisintegrate ang balat. Stage 2 [occurs] when the body bloats and doubles its size. Stage 3 kapag may active decay na. The body will start shedding the nails and hair and liquify meaning ma-agnas ang laman sa buto. And the last stage is the skeletonization,” she said.

“Skeletonization would start several weeks to years depending on weather and condition. In cold weather, mas matagal maagnas. Lalo at tag-ulan ngayon dito sa Puerto Princesa. And mas mabilis ang decomposition pag binaon sa lupa because organisms would help breaking down the remains,” Atencio added.

Dr. Herrera also brought up some telltale signs to know if the body indeed belongs to the missing person.

“Anu-anong parts ba ang nakita? Kasi madalas hindi na buo ang body kasi tinatangay ng mga hayop yan especially mga aso. At mangangamoy talaga dapat yan kasi nga 2 weeks pa lang. Nasaan na pala ang mga damit nya? Ang damit madalas nareretrieve yun sa crimescene at hindi yun nabubulok basta basta,” she said.

In the end, Dr. Atencio reminded the people to not be easily swayed by what they see on social media and some news and to use critical thinking in processing this information.

“With this info, I hope people would use critical thinking if it is likely possible for an 18 days old remain to skeletonized in rainy weather.” she said.

Earlier, the PNP identified a certain Leobert Agallieno Dasmarinas and a certain Jovert Valdestamon as suspects in an emerging case of rape and murder. In a report, it stated that Dasmarinas confessed what they did to Jovelyn and was the one who pointed to the location of the body not far from the residence of Jovelyn.


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