Saturday, January 12, 2013

NBI Traces Suspect On Ella’s Death

NBI Traces Suspect On Ella’s Death

January 9, 2013, 8:13pm
MANILA Philippines --- Days after conducting a re-autopsy and re-creation of the crime scene, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday has concluded that seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella was hit by a stray bullet, which was accidentally fired by one of the two drunken men who were grappling for a gun during the New Year's revelry.
The result, according to an NBI source privy to the investigation, said that the findings of the NBI were corroborated by a witness, which was recently secured by the bureau. He, however, declined to name the suspect because of an on-going operation.

“We have already pinpointed the suspect’s whereabouts. In the coming days, malamang isasagawa ‘yung operasyon,” the source told the Manila Bulletin.

In conducting the re-autopsy and reenactment, the source said that they tried to determine the trajectory of the bullet that hit Ella.

From the trajectory of the bullet, the agents made an estimation as to where they would look for possible witnesses and as to where the gun might have been fired.
“Mahirap kasi na manghuhula tayo kung saan magsisimula ang paghahanap natin so ni re-create natin yung pangyayari,” the NBI source explained. “Doon namin nalaman na maaring ‘yung suspek ay nasa malapit lang.

A witness then informed the NBI that someone from the same neighborhood in Caloocan City, where the seven-year-old victim resided, fired the gun during the New Year's revelry.

The witness, according to the source, recounted seeing six men engaged in a drinking binge hours before the year 2013 turned. Then, the two men playfully grappled with the gun until one pulled the trigger in mid-air.

“Yung dalawang lalaking iyon ang siyang hinahanap natin sa ngayon,” the source said.
When asked if the two men were among those who were earlier taken into custody last week by the police, the source said the two men were new suspects but they belong to the same group.

“May hindi sila inilutang na kasama nila,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed that the gunman behind Ella's death lived near the victim's residence.

“He is in the same neighborhood at kilalang kilala (rin) daw doon," De Lima told reporters.
But De Lima said authorities are still "locating" the suspect, who she said is still in the country. She also confirmed that the gun where the stray bullet came from was a caliber .45 pistol.

"Definitely hindi pa napangalan publicly," De Lima said. She said the NBI's parallel investigation on the incident "was not exactly 100 percent different" from the Philippine National Police's own probe.

Stephanie Nicole was hit by a stray bullet while watching fireworks outside her Caloocan City home during the New Year revelry.

After suffering eight heart attacks, she died last January 2, at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City.

Last Saturday, an NBI team went to the site of the incident to look for further leads on the case.

Initial findings of authorities showed the bullet that hit Stephanie Nicole could have been farther than 50 meters.




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