Richard Sta. Ana, a father, and loving husband, sought justice for his wife, Pearl Helene, and his son, Baby Denzel, after two assailants brutally killed them by mercilessly bludgeoning their heads at home in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. However, as the investigators look for answers, they surprisingly found out that the person behind the gruesome murder of the mother and son was Richard himself.
How can a father kill his wife and son?
On March 2, 2016, a significant day to Richard and Pearl's marriage as they celebrate their third wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the couple decided to postpone their special occasion due to budget constraints. On the other hand, Richard decided to leave that day and went to Quezon City to look for better financial gains opportunities.
Meanwhile, Pearl also had other plans. She was expecting a visit from maintenance specialists that were scheduled to fix their home's internet router. Richard then advised her to take a picture of the job order and the repairmen's identification cards.
Subsequently, Pearl forwarded the photos to her husband, mother, and brother.
On that same day, Pearl's mother went to visit her and Baby Denzel. At first glance, she noticed that all the doors and windows of her house were open, which seemed strange because the family does not leave doors unrestricted.
Unfortunately for Pearl's mom, that was not the most unusual thing she saw that day. Upon entering the house, she was shocked to see her grandson's unconscious body covered in blood. She then quickly looked for Pearl and saw her lifeless naked body in the bathroom, also covered in blood.
After seeing both her daughter and grandson in a perilous condition, she immediately contacted the authorities for help. The police then quickly took both victims to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, Baby Denzel was the first to perish a day after the bloody incident. A day later, his mother, Pearl, died after being comatose from the internal brain hemorrhage she suffered after the perpetrators' brutal attack.
The killings caused public outrage. Various media networks interviewed Richard for his sentiments about the gruesome incident done to his family. Richard also called for justice and told media outlets, "The suspect must be incarcerated and rot in jail."
Eight days after the grisly killings, both victims were on the last day of their funeral. While investigators still haven't found a suspect.
On March 18, 2016, a suspect appeared in public and surrendered to authorities in Cupang, Muntinlupa. The suspect's name is Ramoncito Gallo. He is a tricycle driver and resident of Brgy. Cupang, Muntinlupa. He confessed to the killing of Pearl and baby Denzel. The suspect also said that he was the one who was seen on CCTV footage with long hair and carrying a black bag, though his hair was short when he surrendered to the police.
According to the suspect's statement, a guy named 'Boss Jeff' hired them to kill the victims. In a restaurant in Alabang, they had a conversation with Boss Jeff. The mastermind offered to give the suspects 30 thousand pesos for each person they kill. During their second meeting, Boss Jeff showed the directions to their victims' home. Gallo then asked the mastermind if he could show his face to him as he was always seen wearing a mask and shades in their first two meetings. Boss Jeff then made the biggest mistake of showing his face to both hired killers.
According to Gallo, he and the other suspect pretended to be workers of a telecommunication company. The repairmen that Pearl was expecting to arrive last March 2. Boss Jeff ordered the suspects to show their fake job order and identification to the target. So Pearl would let them inside the house. When the suspects had the right opportunity to kill Pearl, they immediately grabbed her tightly, making it impossible for her to get loose, and brought her to the bathroom. Gallo mercilessly bludgeoned the face of his victim with a hammer. After brutally hammering Pearl, Gallo went on to steal some items from the house to make it look like a robbery. Gallo was shocked when he saw a wedding picture of Pearl and Richard, otherwise known as Boss Jeff, the man that hired him and his colleague to kill Pearl and Baby Denzel. When he came down, he saw Baby Denzel was unconscious and his body covered by blood. Bryan, the second suspect, killed the innocent child.
Gallo also admitted to police that Boss Jeff instructed him to record the murder of the victims using a white cellphone. After the killing, they met for the final time in a restaurant in Alabang. Boss Jeff gave the rest of the payment to Gallo. Afterward, Gallo gave back the phone he used to record the killings to Boss Jeff.
When the crime became trending, Gallo was surprised to see Richard in the news calling out the suspects to his family's murder, making him feel cautious and wary of being caught by the police. He then surrendered to the authorities and identified that Richard Sta. Ana is the mastermind of the crime. The court filed a case against Gallo and Bryan on two counts of murder, theft, and rape. While Richard Sta. Ana received a parricide case.
Meanwhile, the relatives of Richard and Pearl had no idea that the couple was having difficulties with their marriage. However, Pearl said something to her brother before she died. According to Pearl, Richard was jealous of some other guy for no apparent reason.
Furthermore, in the aftermath of the gruesome killings, family members began to doubt Richard's unusual actions. Based on the statements of Pearl's family, Richard became angry when the media interviewed them. They were also surprised when Richard was heavily in-favor of cremating Pearl and Baby Denzel's bodies despite the on-going police investigation.
After Gallo's big revelation, the police then asked Richard to turn over the mobile phone that Gallo used to record the murders. However, Richard denied all the allegations.
Subsequently, Richard asked for help from the Public Attorney Office (PAO). Their investigation theorized that Gallo is just a fall guy and that someone else committed this crime. They also found two inconsistencies with the suspect's testimony. First, Gallo said that he was the man with long hair captured by CCTV. His appearance does not match the man in the footage. Second, Gallo said he allegedly wrote the job order form. But according to Richard's lawyer, the handwriting on the job order and the sworn statement does not match. The PAO also investigated the CCTV video where Galo and Richard allegedly met. But they were not in the video. Due to lack of evidence, the court dismissed the parricide case against Richard.
Three years later, the case finally found a break when authorities finally arrested Bryan Avistado, Gallo's accomplice.
According to Bryan, Richard was the one who gave them money and a cellphone to take a video record of the killing of his wife.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Laguna District recovered CCTV footage that proved Richard meeting with suspects Gallo and Avistado in a restaurant in Alabang within one hour after the commission of the crime.
Sta. Rosa Police operatives led by Police Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Junsay Orate cornered Richard Sta. Ana in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City and affected his arrest through a warrant of arrest declared by the San Pablo Regional Trial Court.
Finally, the gruesome crimes to Pearl and Baby Denzel were brought to justice. The significance of this case highlights the complexities of a man that accused his wife of cheating on him. Unfortunately, he reacted in violent means by hiring hoodlums to plot his revenge based on allegations. What seems unforgivable here is that a baby boy got killed out of his father's madness and the perpetrators' merciless souls.
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