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Family of murdered Eleanor, 24, can’t afford to bring her body home

The heartbroken family of a call centre worker shot during a robbery are appealing for help to bring her body home.

Eleanor Gonzalez, aged 24, was murdered in the early hours of Friday as she was walking to work in Makati, Manila.

Her parents in Zamboanga City, who relied on Eleanor’s wages as their sole income, are now struggling to cover the costs of transporting her remains.

Eleanor was shot in the head at 4.30am near the Guadalupe Bridge on Edsa northbound in Barangay Ilaya.

The Inquirer reported the last words she spoke to her mother Erlinda some days before. “Please take care of yourselves, mother,” she said. “Please make sure you and papa are safe because I am far away. Don’t worry, I will send you money on Friday. Wait for me. Take care.”

Eleanor worked hard as a qualitative assurance analyst at a call centre. Although her shift didn’t start until 7am, she was in the habit of arriving at 5am.

Her mother said she did this so she could send more money home to her family. “Eleanor was a very kind daughter,” she said. “She had big dreams for us. She wanted to save up to give us a house, and send her youngest sibling to school.”

Those dreams were snuffed out at the Mandaluyong City Medical Centre after a desperate fight for life.

The family has now set up a posthumous Facebook page in Eleanor’s name as they struggle to find transportation costs for her coffin, and campaign for justice in her name.

Her father Emerito is unable to work due to a broken back, which ended his career as a driver in Manila.

Eleanor’s body is currently at the Funeraria Quiogue awaiting transportation to her family in Gusiao, Zamboanga City.

Police spokesman Jose Villarta said Gonzales probably resisted the suspect before she was shot. A bag strap was found near the crime scene.

Mr Villarta said a nearby security camera failed to capture the incident. The suspect remains unidentified. A task force has been formed to track him down.

Eleanor’s body was initially recorded by the funeral parlour as a “Jane Doe” until she was identified earlier this week.

Her mother believes that Eleanor put up a fight because her bag contained a phone she had borrowed from a friend. “She had no cellphone. Her old phone was not working,” she said.

A workmate of Eleanor, Elena Santos, was one of three colleagues who helped identify her at the funeral parlour.

She described the victim as a cheerful and lively woman, who had worked hard at the company for three years.

Ms Santos also urged action to improve safety at the dimly lit and “crime prone” Guadalupe Bridge area to prevent any future tragedies.

“Last December, there were policemen at the area; now, it’s unsafe. The fence they put there does not help.

“I hope they can look at this area, especially for us call centre agents who travel in the morning,” she said.

Anyone wishing to help Eleanor’s family should call 09972 786615.

Posted by Hinde Yote on Tuesday, February 7, 2017