By Perseus Echeminada
MANILA – The family of a couple, who were found dying at a Las Pinas mall on Thursday, will request another autopsy before their remains are cremated, a close relative said yesterday.
The relative, who requested anonymity, told The STAR during the victims’ wake in Makati that the family agreed to another autopsy as the police widens its investigation on the death of Juliet Escano, a bank manager, and her husband Jose Maria Escano, a pharmaceutical sales manager.
”The family is still in a state of shock, particularly Juliet’s 80-year-old father, who celebrated his birthday on the day she died,” she said.
She added that the family is keeping a low profile and avoiding media interviews while the police continue with the investigation.
The family also thanked The STAR for publishing their side when the story broke out.
”Only The STAR published our side. Other newspapers ignored us,” one of the victims’ daughters said.
The daughter also declined to confirm or deny that the victims went to church before proceeding to a mall in Alabang and then to another mall in Las Piñas.
”We are mum about the incident. We do not want publicity. We are just simple people,” the daughter said.
The Escanos were found dying in their car parked at the mall in Las Piñas Thursday night. Security guard Morgan Gerobise told responding policemen that Juliet, 50, was found unconscious in the driver’s seat while Jose, 51, was sprawled in the back seat.
Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) medical officer Reah Cornelio reported their cause of death to be “shock, secondary to ingestion of toxic substance.”
The Las Piñas police has widened its investigation and included the work background of the victims. It also retraced the couple’s activities on Thursday.
Receipts recovered by investigators showed that the victims bought food items from a fast food outlet along Macapagal Avenue and a convenience store in Muntinlupa. The family requested that the establishments not be mentioned.
It was also established that they parked their car at about 3 p.m. on Thursday.
A source said the physical evidence gathered so far indicated that the couple were together the whole day.
Inspector Eleazar Camiling said the case will be thoroughly investigated and that all angles will be considered.
The mall management is also coordinating with investigators in reviewing the footage taken by the mall’s surveillance cameras.