Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Dubai: A Filipina expatriate whose father had requested help to locate her after pictures were circulated on social media was murdered by a watchman, police said on Monday.
Lenlie Silpao Oliverio, 26, was murdered on February 19 by the watchman of her building who was arrested within 24 hours, an officer said.
The suspect has been transferred to the public prosecution.
On Monday, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, said police investigation points to evidence that the Filipina was killed by her building’s watchman, who had a verbal altercation with her on the same day she died.
“On Thursday, February 19, the operations room received a call around 7pm from an Asian man saying that his friend who lives with him was murdered in their apartment,” he said.
The crime was committed in an area that was under Al Rashidiya police station’s jurisdiction.
The Asian man, who had just returned from work, found Oliverio stabbed multiple times and the apartment ransacked.
Teams from Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigation Department and General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology rushed to the scene and started their investigation.
Maj Gen Al Mazeina said the Asian man, who lived with the victim, said that he had last seen the victim in the morning before going to work, adding that the victim had also spoken to him around midday asking him to buy some things for the house.
He said, “Initially there were no obvious signs as to who could have committed the crime. Teams started looking into people who knew the victim, the victim’s flat-mate, people who live in the building and in nearby shops.”
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said, “The way the victim was stabbed led us to deduct that revenge could be the reason behind her murder.”
He said that although the watchman was helping out the victim’s friend, and facilitating access to residents while police were in the building, policemen suspected him due to his body language.
“Our teams, who are trained in reading body language, suspected the watchman, although he had no wounds or marks that could link him to the murder. He was taken in for questioning at the Criminal Investigation Department, where he confessed to the crime,” Maj Gen Al Mansouri said.
He said they tested the watchman’s DNA against biological evidence found at the crime scene, which tested positive, linking the man to the crime.
Maj Al Mansouri said the suspect claimed that he was cleaning the floors of the building that morning at around 9am when the victim walked by and spilt the water bucket he was using to clean, after which a heated argument ensued.
“The suspect confessed that he then got a knife, went to her apartment at around 2pm and told her that there was a problem with the fire alarm. So she let him in. When she did, he said he grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth and stabbed her multiple times until he was sure she was dead,” he said.
The suspect then told the police that he cleaned his clothes, closed the door and carried on with his day. Police declined to reveal the number of stab wounds.
Police said the suspect had only been in the country for around two months, where he worked with the same company but in a different building in another emirate.
He had only started working at the victim’s building 10 days before the crime.
Lt Col Adel Al Joker, Head of Investigation at Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said that the attention from Maj Gen Al Mazeina and Maj Gen Al Mansouri and their presence at the scene helped catch the suspect in such a short time.
“As soon as he knew the initial details of the murder, Maj Gen Al Mazeina said that the suspect is someone from the building — not an outsider.” Lt Col Al Joker said, adding that this is an isolated incident, and that Dubai Police are always prepared to thwart any criminal attempts.
He said Dubai Police did not reveal the details of the crime until all the procedures were completed.
Earlier Gulf News reported that Eddie Oliverio, Lenlie’s father, was worried about his daughter who was living in Dubai.
Oliverio said his neighbours showed him a Facebook post bearing his daughter’s picture and a text that read: “Justice for Lenlie Silpao Oliverio”, followed by a caption that said Lenlie was brutally murdered in Dubai.
The Philippines consulate officials confirmed the woman’s death on February 24.
Lenlie is survived by her parents and two children, aged 10 and 5.