Man arrested on drug charge admits to murder of American

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Murder victim Frank Cruz enjoying a birthday celebration with his family. His body has now been disinterred after his killer confessed to police. Picture via Facebook

A man being investigated by police for for drug and firearm offences in General Santos City has confessed to the murder of an American last month.

Chief Inspector Aldrin Gonzales said Lito Simudong, aged 35, told investigators that he had killed the victim – identified as Frank Cruz – with the help of two accomplices.

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Gonzales said Simudong confessed that they had robbed Mr Cruz and buried his remains in a shallow grave in Barangay Fatima. He said he had confessed to the crime because his conscience had bothered him.

Mr Cruz was a 73-year-old American from Hagatna, Guam. Now retired, he used to be the regional sales coordinator of American firm, American Family Life Assurance Company. He was reported missing on February 28.

According to his Facebook page, Mr Cruz grew up and was educated in Lancaster, California.

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“It was a case of personal gain and robbery,” Gonzales said of the murder of Mr Cruz, whose remains was unearthed, after Simudong led authorities to the grave on Tuesday (March 13). Pictures of the gruesome scene are currently circulating on social media.

“The decomposing remains of Mr Cruz, whose head was wrapped with packing tape, and whose hands were tied behind the back, was found beside an abandoned house in the village,” Gonzales said. He added that Simudong owned the house, but had abandoned it last month.

Senior Inspector Fernando Manuel said Simudong had identified his accomplices as Hiwen Buntuyan Borja and his daughter, who is a minor. Both Borja and the young girl remain at large and a hunt has been launched to track them down.

Additional charges are now being filed against Simudong as the hunt continues for his accomplices.

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