Viva Hot Babe slay could be related to car deal: Police

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2008 10:28 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2008 06:28 PM

By BOY VILLASANTA
abs-cbnNEWS.com


OLONGAPO CITY—Relatives of slain starlet Scarlet Garcia (Scarlet Mae Bouffard Garcia in real life), a member of the sexy sing-and-dance group Viva Hot Babes, want the ongoing investigation to focus on the business dealings of her live-in partner, car dealer George Castor, Jr.

Castor, Garcia, Garcia's cousin Rachel Estacio and Estacio's boyfriend Von Mark Bandejas were found dead early morning of March 13 after authorities responded to reports of an apparent fire at their three-storey home in Gordon Heights in Olongapo City.

The victims' remains bore stab wounds as well as gunshot injuries. The bodies of Garcia and Estacio were found inside the bathroom. Their assailants left them hogtied and removed their underwear. The bodies of the two male victims were found in separate areas of the house.

Police sources said the still unknown suspects tried to set fire to the house in an apparent effort to cover up the murders.

Suspect detained

Olongapo police have taken into custody a police officer whose ID card, police cap and uniform were found inside Garcia's car.

SPO1 Leopoldo Vitug, a member of the National Capital Region-Traffic Management Group (NCR-TMG), denied any involvement in the grisly killings.

Vitug told ABS-CBN News that he's a first cousin of Castor. "Nabigla ako. Pinsang buo ko yon, mother niya atsaka father ko magkapatid (I was shocked. He was my cousin. His mother and my father are siblings)," he said.

Vitug said that he has no idea how his ID, cap and  uniform ended up in Garcia's car. He said that several relatives, including Castor, had access to his house during the wake held for his father who died last year.

"Nung namatay yung father ko July 2007, nasa punerarya ako, ako lahat nag-aasikaso. Lahat ng relatives ko halos nasa bahay, dun sila nagpapalit, naliligo, nagbibihis. Dun sila hindi ko alam kung, kung paano niya nakuha yon," Vitug added.

(When my father died in July 2007, I was at the funeral home, taking care of all the arrangements. Nearly all my relatives were going to my house. They would take showers there, change their clothes. I have no idea how my stuff got into Scarlet's car.)

Visitors

Fellow Viva Hot Babe Jaycee Parker, who was also the manager of Garcia, told abs-cbnNEWS.com that Garcia and her three companions were having a party the night before they were killed.

"Ang pagkakaalam ko po parang nagkakaroon ng katuwaan nung gabi, inuman, videoke, may mga bisita (From what I know they had a party, drinking, videoke. They had visitors)," she said.

A still unconfirmed report said that the victims had four guests in the house, all men. The report also said that the four men left the premises but later on two of them returned.

Parker also belied reports that Garcia and Estacio were raped before they were killed. "The autopsy showed that no rape happened," she said.

Garcia's mother Tess Bouffard said that they are still too distraught to make their own effort to get the facts in the case. “Masyado pang magulo. Hindi pa kami handa. (Everything's still chaotic. We're not ready.),” she told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

Bouffard added that her biggest regret is that she and her daughter had no chance to patch things up before the latter was killed. "(We weren't talking to each other. We had a fight and were not on speaking terms. Then she died)

One source at Garcia's funeral said that her family disapproved of her relationship with Castor.

“Pinapili si Scarlet ng kanyang pamilya, kung ‘yong lalaki o ‘yong kanyang pamilya. (Scarlet was made to choose between Castor and the family. She chose the guy),” revealed the source who requested anonymity.

Parker had this message for the killers of her talent and close friend: "Makonsyensa naman kayo, mahiya kayo sa sarili niyo; hindi makatao yung ginawa niyo! (I hope your consciences bother you. You should be ashamed; what you did was inhuman.)

Authorities say they are now looking into a possible botched car deal as a motive for the crime.