Etong death most likely suicide, says forensic expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2009 11:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 20 2009 09:43 PM

A forensic expert on Monday said Trinidad "Trina" Etong, wife of ABS-CBN broadcaster Ted Failon, most likely committed suicide based on findings on her autopsy.

Erwin Erfe, a professor of forensic medicine from the Ateneo de Manila University, said he and Dr. Jake Ortiz of the Scene of the Crime Operatives found three significant findings after conducting the autopsy on Etong's body last Friday. He said he performed the autopsy as an independent forensic consultant upon Failon's request.

Erfe said the autopsy revealed two gunshot wounds on Etong, which are the entry wound on the right temple and the exit wound on her left.

He said further examination of Etong's skull showed the contusion collar on the entry wound is uniformly level. The contusion collar is the wound caused by the bullet trajectory to the human body.

"The contusion collar is very significant because it is the bruise made by the entry of the bullet. This is very significant because her contusion collar was very uniform. What this means is that the gun used was directly perpendicular [to Etong' s head.] Pantay na pantay. This shows that it is most likely a suicide," he said in a radio dzMM.

"In my professional opinion, this is most likely a suicide rather than a homicide," he added.

He said the findings most likely ruled out allegations that Failon shot his wife last Wednesday.

"If you look at the height of Ted Failon, which is aound 5' 10", and she is 5'2" and if he did shoot her, the contusion collar would not be like this. It would be slight larger on top," he said.

He said the autopsy showed small fractures inside Etong's skull, which were caused by the bullet. "This was not caused by any blunt force. Hindi punukpok," he said.

He said Etong's body had no other injuries or bruises, which are the usual signs of a struggle.

Failon said he found his wife unconscious at their Tierra Pura home last Wednesday morning and quickly rushed her to hospital where she died last Thursday.

Police have not ruled the possibility of foul play in Etong's death despite interviews by Etong's friends and family that she had been contemplating suicide.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said it will focus on the results of forensic examination to determine if Etong's death was indeed a case of suicide. The police have yet to issue a statement on the SOCO's findings on Etong's death.