Identity of Filipina found dead in river confirmed, envoy says case may be homicide

A photo of Madelyn Bernardo Asuncion taken from one of her Facebook profiles.

A photo of Madelyn Bernardo Asuncion taken from one of her Facebook profiles.

KOTA KINABALU: Authorities have confirmed the identity of the Filipina who was found dead in the Pagalan river in Melalap, Tenom, more than a week ago.

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement on Saturday (Dec 8) expressed its condolences to the family of Madelyn Bernardo Asuncion.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles C. Jose said authorities have informed his embassy that there was enough evidence to classify the case as possible homicide.

The Philippines Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is waiting for the official report of the incident and autopsy results from the authorities.

According to the statement, Madelyn was from Zamboanga City but had been staying with her father in Malaysia for the past 10 years.

Her father assisted authorities in identifying her remains.

When contacted on Friday (Dec 7), Tenom police chief Asst Supt Ahmad Razali Shaari confirmed her identity.

He said the case was still classified as sudden death pending post-mortem results, adding that the case would be reclassified if the results indicated foul play.

A plantation worker informed the police after discovering Madelyn's decomposing body floating in the river at around 7am on Nov 28.

One of her legs was entangled with a water pump structure belonging to a plantation company.

The photos of the incident went viral, and she was identified by social media users through the tattoos on her arm and leg.

According to her acquaintance who declined to be named, Madelyn used to work at a restaurant in Keningau.