Christine Silawan, a 16-year-old high school student, was found dead in a vacant lot in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, on March 11, 2019. Half of her face was skinned to the skull, and her body had multiple stab wounds. She was also naked from the waist down and was thought to be raped.
Her killer, 43-year-old suspect Renato "Renren" Llenes, was first apprehended by the police but later on, voluntarily confessed to the gruesome crime claiming that his conscience haunted him. A year later, before receiving his sentence, he was found dead after allegedly hanging himself to death. The case has since been closed.
According to the killer, he posed as a teenage boy on Facebook to lure Christine. Things went heated for him when he got jealous. So on March 10, 2019, Lllenes asked the victim to meet him for the first time outside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish church, where Christine helped collect offerings. The killer pretended to be the driver of her supposed Facebook chatmate to get the victim to go with him. Later on, he brought Christine to a vacant lot and killed her by stabbing her multiple times with scissors.
Afterward, he skinned the teenage girl's face with the knowledge he gained through YouTube tutorials; he did so to avoid anyone identifying the victim. The suspect also claimed that he was under the influence of illegal drugs and attempted to rape Christine. After peeling off her face, Llenes took the victim's bag, carried the skin, and walked away from the crime scene.
After Llenes' confession, the authorities have retrieved pieces of evidence linking Llenes to the crime, such as the bloodied scissors and his shirts with drops of blood. They also confirmed in CCTV footage obtained in the initial parts of the investigation that Llenes was with Christine the night before she was found dead.
On May 24, 2020, a year after confessing to the gruesome crime, Renato Llenes was found dead inside his detention cell's comfort room at the Lapu-Lapu City Jail after purportedly taking his own life. Earlier, despite confessing to the crime, Llenes's camp had tried to enter into a plea bargain agreement, wherein he would enter a guilty plea with the condition that the case will be downgraded to homicide instead of murder. However, the prosecution camp did not agree to the plea bargain as they were confident of claiming a conviction with their evidence on hand. Court proceedings regarding the case were stalled due to the government-imposed lockdown.
Initially, the prosecution had already presented one witness from the police force to testify how Llenes became their suspect for the death of Silawan. Aside from the police reports and Llenes' earlier confession, the latter's live-in partner and some neighbors are also among those who are supposed to testify against Llenes in court. Subsequently, the case of Christine Silawan's killing was closed. This case prompted the public to reinstate Death Penalty.
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