Police: American woman dumped in Pasig River was suffocated

Pasig River
Victim Tomi Michelle Masters flanked by the two suspects in her killing, Troy Woody and Mir Islam.

Tomi Michelle Masters, an American whose dead body was dumped in the Pasig River in Manila died of suffocation, police have said.

Senior Superintendent Moises Villaceran revealed the result of an autopsy on the 23-year-old woman from Indiana yesterday (Monday, December 24).

The suspects in her killing — Troy Woody, aged 21, and Mir Islam, 22, were arrested hours after they allegedly dumped her body into the river in the early hours of Sunday. 

As we previously reported, the duo — both chief executive officers of a US-based lending firm called Luxr Limited Liability Co — were charged with murder yesterday.

Mir Islam told the police that Woody, who was in a relationship with the victim, had a “misunderstanding” few days before the death, Sr. Supt. Villaceran said.

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According to FBI documents, Islam was previously arrested in the US for his part in setting up a ‘credit card fraud forum’.

Sr. Supt. Villaceran confirmed that Islam also served jail time for serial stalking and revealing private or identifying information about people in the internet (doxxing) and sending police SWAT teams to people’s houses (swatting).

In June 2012, Islam was among 24 people arrested in an FBI dragnet dubbed Operation Card Shop. He was accused of being a founding member of carders.org, a credit card fraud forum. This dealt in stolen credit card information, and possessed information about more than 50,000 credit cards.

Then, in June 2016, Islam was sentenced to a year in prison for serial stalking and doxxing. He also pleaded guilty to reporting phoney bomb threats and faking hostage situations at the homes of celebrities and public officials.

The duo were arrested yesterday after Grab taxi driver John Kenneth Quimba told police how they had asked him to stop on a bridge before they dumped a large box into the Pasig River.

When police recovered the box, they found it to contain the naked body of the victim wrapped in duct tape. 

Investigations are continuing.

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