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Flight attendant Christine Dacera’s death ‘natural,’ according to medico legal report

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 27, 2021 8:49 am Updated Jan 27, 2021 10:11 pm

Flight attendant Christine Dacera died due to a natural cause, according to the medico-legal report submitted Wednesday, Jan. 27, to the prosecution during the preliminary investigation into her death.

According to the medico-legal report from the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory dated Jan. 11, “The ruptured aortic aneurysm will remain the cause of death as shown in the autopsy findings.”

The report states that though the aneurysm is common among elderly patients due to atherosclerosis, it could also happen in the younger age groups due to other reasons, including increased blood pressure like in the case of Dacera, who was 23-year-old at the time of her death.

"The loss of blood due to the ruptured aorta killed her within a few hours. The dilatation or aneurysm started long time ago or maybe years, prior to her death. No alcohol or recreational drugs taken the night prior to her death will cause that kind of dilatation or defect on her aorta," the report pointed out.

The report also said that Dacera’s heart weighed 500 grams, which is larger compared to a heart’s normal weight of 300 grams. This finding, according to the report, “supports Dacera’s apparently undiagnosed hypertension.”

Homicide as the cause of Dacera’s death was also ruled out in the report and that “rape and/or drug overdose will not result to the development of aneurysms.”

“Based on the available information on hand, the manner of death is classified as natural death,” said the report, signed by PNP Crime Lab medico-legal officer Lt. Col. Joseph Palmero.

However, Dacera’s family does not agree with the findings in PNP Crime Lab report.

Speaking with ABS-CBN Teleradyo on Jan. 28, Dacera’s family lawyer Roger Reyes said, “The medico-legal report ni Dr. (Lt. Col. Joseph) Palmero is not a medico-legal examination” because Dacera’s body was already buried last Jan. 11. “There’s no way he could have examined the body on Jan. 11.”

According to Reyes, the family, who disputes the claim that the flight attendant died of natural causes because of the bruises found on her body, firmly believes that Dacera’s drink was spiked with drugs and that she was sexually molested in either room 2207 and 2209, which contributed to her death.

“This case is definitely not closed, and we have to identify additional respondents in room 2207,” said Reyes, who noted that the family is waiting for the results of the second autopsy from the National Bureau of Investigation.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who ordered the NBI a parallel probe into the death of Dacera, said on Wednesday, Jan. 27, that the NBI is “ready with their toxicology report” but left it to the bureau to disclose the findings.

After ringing in the New Year with friends, Dacera was found unconscious in the bathtub of their hotel room at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City. She was then rushed to the Makati Medical Center where she was declared dead on arrival.

The Dacera family believes that there was foul play in the flight attendant’s death, an allegation that her companions, who were charged with rape with homicide, refuted.