The lifeless body found in waters off Escalante City, Negros Occidental on Saturday was of a 64-year-old native of a nearby town, police clarified amid speculation that it was the remains of Mayor Gisela Boniel, 40.
According to Escalante City police investigator SPO1 Jojit Ruiz, the lifeless woman was identified as Laureta Cabag by immediate relatives who claimed that she has been missing since June 28.
“She is a local. She has been identified by relatives through her lower extremities as she is already in the state of decomposition,” said Ruiz.
The victim reportedly slipped and was swept away by gushing water in a creek at the nearby town of Calatrava causing her to drown.
“There is a large creek in front of her house. Her children saw that she left her slippers and her clothes were snagged.”
The lifeless body which was bound by a fishnet went viral over social media through photos as suspicion that it was the remains of Boniel arose on Saturday afternoon, just hours after the cadaver was sighted at 3 p.m.
However, Ruiz clarified that the body was not found with the fishnet.
“It [fishnet] caused confusion among the public, but we were the ones who wrapped the body with the net to slowly move the body to shore,” he added.
The body has been transported to a morgue for thorough examination while the Escalante Police Station is set to release an official statement on its identity.
Boniel who is believed to have been shot dead and thrown in waters off Lapu-Lapu City was reportedly wrapped with a fishnet before she was dumped.
Authorities have yet to find Boniel while search and retrieval operation for her body is set to resume next week after it was terminated on Tuesday.