4 Suspects in the Killing of Couple Nabbed in Sagay
The swift action of police authorities here resulted to the arrest of suspects yesterday less than twenty four hours after the discovery of the couple’s bodies inside a deep well inside the victims’ farm house in Villa Emmanuel, Barangay Blumentritt, Murcia, Negros Occidental, Monday, August 17.
A well-coordinated police follow up operation of Sagay City PNP, Murcia PNP and elements of PNP Action Force and Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) Police Public Safety Company arrested three of the four suspects in Sitio Dahlia, Barangay Puey, a hinterland barangay in Sagay City.
Arrested about 10:00 pm Monday were Randy Tugbong Menez, 25; brothers Reynald, 17 and Ralph Medel, alias “Toto,” 18 - all of the place.
Police recovered from them P15, 00 cash; assorted jewelries, different dollar bill denominations, two laptops, five units cellular phones, electric grinder, chargers, DVD players, white wallet with identification card of the husband, and one 9.mm with magazine loaded with seven ammunitions.
About 9:30 am yesterday, police follow up operation spotted another suspect identified as Randy Comming Perez, 18, at Purok Matam-is, Barangay Bato, Sagay City.
Recovered from him were; one cellular phone, a pendant, necklace, charger, pair of black shoes and a backpack with several branded shirts owned by the victims.
Murcia PNP formed two teams to track down the suspects, while the other team assisted in the retrieval operation of the dead couple.
The first three suspects admitted the crime of Kevin Fleischauer, 58, of Minnesota, USA, his Filipina wife, Lolly Mangilaya–Fleischauer, 60, a native of Barangay Bagaas, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental.
The suspects claimed maltreatment by the couple of farm helpers in their organic farm in the area. They pointed to Randy Perez as mastermind in the plan to kill the couple.
But after Perez was arrested yesterday, he pointed to Menez as mastermind in the killing.
Perez was transferred to Murcia PNP yesterday.
Kevin’s body was retrieved first at 7:00 am Monday, while Lolly at 4:00 pm. Both bodies were already in a state of decomposition.
The bodies were discovered after members of the Open Door Baptist Church reported that the Fleischauers were missing.
They were supposed to pay the Fleischauers a visit on Sunday after the couple failed to show up in church for the past two weeks. They discovered that the front door of their house was broken.
They immediately sought assistance from the barangay officials and the police.
Operatives from the Murcia police station went to the couple’s farm at about 5:40 pm on Sunday and tried to search for the Fleischauers in their property, but to no avail.
The police were then led to a 20-foot deep well, 30 meters away from the house, because of a foul odor.
Kevin’s body was discovered afloat but was only retrieved along with Lolly’s body yesterday. Both are wounded.
Police believe that the couple was mauled before they were thrown into the well.
The Fleischauers also have a house in Sta. Clara Subdivision in Bacolod City, but spent most time at their farm house in Villa Emmanuel where they were joining church services and managing their organic farm.
Senior Inspector Lawrence Gerald Bathan, municipal police chief, is filing robbery with murder case against the suspects.* (Cyrus M. Garde)