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Authorities find SUV linked to Catherine Camilon's disappearance in Batangas

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Nov 10, 2023 9:02 pm

The sports utility vehicle linked to the disappearance of Miss Grand Philippines 2023 candidate Catherine Camilon was found by authorities in Batangas City.

The red Honda CRV was recovered by the Batangas City Police Station at a vacant lot along the corner of Dumuclay Road and Star Tollway in Barangay Pallocan East on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo said that the unattended SUV was seen by residents on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and reported it to the police the following day.

"The car is now in the custody of our forensic group, particularly the regional field unit in Batangas," Fajardo said in a presser on Friday, Nov. 10. "They would conduct a forensic examination which includes macro etching of the engine and together with our Highway Patrol Group, they would check its chassis and engine number so we can determine who is the owner of this vehicle. We would also check if we can lift fingerprints or bloodstains from it."

Meanwhile, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 4A chief Police Colonel Jacinto Malinao Jr. told Super Radyo dzBB that the SOCO team has yet to release the results of the test identifying if there were pieces of evidence inside the vehicle.

“We are still waiting for the results of SOCO operations for possible presence of biological trace evidence like hair or blood,” Malinao told the outlet. “This is a continuing effort aside from other investigative activities that we are conducting."

Prior to this, the police said that there were two persons of interest in this case: a policeman and a former owner of Camilon's vehicle.

The policeman, according to Camilon's close friends, had a relationship with the beauty queen. He was reportedly the person Camilon was supposed to meet on the day of her disappearance. It was also reported that he was the one who gave Camilon her vehicle, a gray Nissan Juke SUV, which she was in before she went missing.

He was temporarily relieved from his post and is now in the custody of the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit while investigations are underway.

On Nov. 7, two witnesses reported that they spotted the missing beauty queen bloodied as she was being transferred from the Honda CRV to a Nissan Juke. The witnesses claimed that one of the persons of interest pointed a gun at them after they saw the bloodied victim. Police said that the gunman is the personal driver of the second person of interest.

Catherine, who hails from Toy in Batangas, was last spotted in a shopping mall in Lemery on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. She last told her mother Rosario that she was at a gasoline station in Bauan on her way to Batangas City for an interview with Balisong Channel. However, the network said that the beauty queen didn't make it to their office.

Camilon joined Miss Grand Philippines last July, during which Nikki De Moura of Cagayan de Oro won the crown. Apart from being a beauty queen and model, she is an English teacher at Tuy National High School.

A reward of P250,000 was announced by Batangas City Vice Governor Mike Leviste for information on Camilon's disappearance.