Photo by: Tim Plasabas
During the investigation, it was learned that Melnard Villahermosa was reportedly seen on August 7, Saturday afternoon, at the river of brgy Canturing (Sabang) – a river that directly connects to the seawater.
According to police report, he was allegedly collecting seashell (kinhason) with his friends or relatives (all minors), but with his mother’s consent.
“At around 5 pm, August 7, family and neighbors began the search and rescue operations when the little boy failed to return home,” Orito said in an interview.
“Nikalit rag kawala ang bata sa panon sa ijang mga kauban. Gipangita pagka gabie apan wala nakit-an,” he added.
At about 5:30 early in the morning on the following day (August 8, Sunday), a certain Reynaldo Bandibas discovered a body along brgy Isagani’s shoreline, which upon notice of the child’s mother, Mrs. Ernanita, claimed to be her missing son.
Rescuer from Philippine Coastguard was called in for immediate assistance but it was now reportedly too late.
To prevent the child’s body from exposure, authorities, with the consent of the mother, brought her son to their home, where City Health Officer, Dra Francilisa Tan, conducted post-mortem examination.
Tan proclaimed drowning as the cause of death of Melnard.
“Based on investigation, it was highly believed that the child was swept away by strong current beyond the awareness of relatives/friends who was with him,” Orito ended.