By Anthony Giron
Indang, Cavite — A missing teenage student aspiring to be a model was found dead on Saturday in a river at San Pascual, Barangay Guyam Malaki in this upland municipality, police reported Sunday.
The body of Melissa Maravilla Magracia, 17, a resident of Belvedere, Barangay Paradahan I, Tanza, Cavite, was found half-submerged in the river by an elderly farmer as he was walking to his nearby nipa hut at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.
Police Officer 2 Brian Jay Comia, case investigator, had yet to determine the cause of Magracia’s death as her body was already decomposing.
Magracia was a Grade 11 (senior high school) student at AMA Computer School in Dasmariñas City. She was wearing the white blouse, maroon necktie and blue skirt school uniform and her silver pack bag still clutched on her back when found.
The student was reported missing by her family last December 6, the day she left home to meet a man at the Cavite State University (CavSU)-Indang vicinity. The man reportedly offered her a modeling job through Facebook.
The family began to worry when they found Magracia’s Facebook account deactivated later and that Magracia was nowhere to be found.
Magracia, described as pretty and friendly, reportedly wanted to become a model while studying in school. An AMA school classmate of Magracia confirmed the meeting at the CavSU vicinity to police.
A police team arrested Elrick Mojica Vidallo, 31, a welder, Magracia’s Facebook contact, at his residence at Barangay Harasan, Indang in the ensuing operation.
A team was also looking for other individuals possibly involved in Magracia’s killing.
Vidallo denied that he had something to do with the student’s death when questioned by police. But Comia said that he had proof about the communication between Vidallo and Magracia prior to the student’s death and testimonies of witnesses.