Police to look into death of 8-year-old boy

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Monday, September 1, 2014

POLICE are investigating the “mysterious” death of an eight-year-old boy in Barangay Magsaysay, Balamban, Cebu.

Christian Tapia died last Sunday dawn reportedly from poisoning even after he was brought to the emergency room of a hospital in Cebu City.

But results of the examination conducted by a municipal health officer showed the boy suffered bruises and fractures in his face and arms.


‘Physically abused’

SPO1 Jose Villarino, chief investigator of Balamban Police Station, said they will question the boy’s mother Jenny Tapia, 36, and his stepfather Junjun Ardiner, 25, because they suspect foul play was involved.

Initial investigation showed Christian was allegedly mauled by his stepfather last Friday. It was witnessed by the boy’s aunt Renalyn.

“Gibunalan pa kuno ni og tubo ang bata (Ardiner allegedly hit the boy with a pipe),” Villarino told Sun.Star Cebu.

Christian ran away and reportedly hid in the woods. Ardiner saw him last Saturday, and the boy appeared weak.

“Nakainom kuno og pesticides ingon ang mama (The mom said the boy drank pesticide),” Villarino said, adding the family keeps pesticides that they use in farming, which is their main source of livelihood.

Cause of death

This prompted the family to bring the boy to the Balamban District Hospital. They were referred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, where Christian died later.

A death certificate showed the boy died from cardiac arrest due to poisoning, Villarino said.

Villarino said they learned about the incident from concerned neighbors who suspected foul play was involved.

Dr. Jenina Lape, the municipal health officer of Balamban, yesterday examined the boy’s body.

She found bruises and fractures on his cheek and arms.

Villarino said they are asking the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7 to conduct an autopsy on Christian to shed light on the incident.

“Manapat daw ni ang amahan kung dili motuman sa sugo mao among nadawat nga report (We received reports that the stepfather would hit the boy if the latter didn’t heed his orders),” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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