Karen Kaye Montebon Murder: Local Officials Offer Hefty Reward, Police Have Suspect In Mind

The murder of Karen Kaye Montebon remains unsolved, but police in Lapu-Lapu City are hoping a hefty reward can help identify the killer of the 17-year-old girl.

Montebon’s murder shocked the Philippines this week, with the teenager found dead in her family’s home with bruises covering her body and a hair straightener cord tied tightly around her neck.

A post-mortem exam determined that Montebon was actually strangled to death with bare hands, the Inquirer reported, though police have released little more about the teen’s death. Karen’s father found her lifeless body, and she was rushed to a hospital but declared dead.

With no suspect in custody, the Lapu-Lapu city government is now offering a P500,000 reward to anyone who can identify the Montebon’s killer.

Police said they have already identified a suspect but have not yet released the identity of the person. Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO), said the killing likely stemmed from an argument between Montebon and her killer.

“As to when, where and to the particulars of the argument, we do not know,” he said.

Police said they do not believe robbery was a motive, as there were several expensive items left in the home. But there have been problems reported on the subdivision where the girl lived, the Inquirer noted.

“A day after the crime, the Corinthians Homeowners Association replaced the security guards of the subdivision. A month ago, it had already noted security lapses committed by the guards and notified Bisda Security Agency about the termination of its contract effective Sept. 15, said its treasurer, Luzmary Macasaquit.

“Macasaquit confirmed that robbers had already struck in several houses.”

Witnesses said they saw a man and woman knocking on the door of Montebon’s home at close to 7 a.m. on the morning she was murdered.

Police interviewed two people this week, Rodoc said, but he would not say if it was the same pair seen knocking on the family’s door. The Sun Star reported that the pair denied having anything to do with the teen’s murder.

Investigators believe the suspect went to Bohol, but a manhunt failed to turn up the suspect. Police have not said how the suspect may be related to Montebon or revealed a possible motive for the attack.

Rodoc said he has requested police to form a special investigation unit to investigate the murder of Karen Kaye Montebon.

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