10 August 2014

Reward Up for San Juan Baby Killer

San Juan Baby Killer
The city government of San Juan is now offering monetary reward for a man who may have raped and killed an 11-month-old baby.

At around 8:30 A.M. on Friday, 1 August 2014, the little girl was found dead and naked from the waist down under a parked passenger jeepney along Don Ejercito Street in Barangay Tibagan in San Juan City.

Jeepney driver Efren Martinez saw the girl’s body while he was cleaning his vehicle.

In its Facebook account, the city government identified the suspect in Geralyn Cortez’s rape-slay as vendor Arnel Tumbali (shown above using a screen grab of ABS-CBN report).

"The city will give a PhP 100,000 reward to the person who could lead our police team to the verified whereabouts and eventual arrest of Tumbali," the city government said in its Facebook post.

Investigators identified Tumbali as the one seen on a closed-circuit television video carrying Cortez hours before she was found. Superintendent Jose Rivera, officer-in-charge of the city police, said Cortez’s parents live in a kariton – a makeshift pushcart – and sleep on the street.

Investigators believe Tumbali – who works at a repair shop near the parked jeepney – may have taken the toddler as her parents slept. He has been missing since the discovery of Cortez’s body.

Tumbali was described as between 20 and 24 years old, 5'4" to 5'6" tall, of medium build and dark-skinned.

Investigators said Cortez’s body showed signs she had been raped and that she was hit by a blunt object in the chest. The impact ruptured her liver.

Cortez was buried in Pasig City.

The San Juan police are preparing rape-slay charges against Tumbali before the city prosecutor’s office.


After four months in hiding, Tumbali was arrested in Mandaluyong City on 5 December 2014.

The suspect was selling peanuts in front of a hotel at the corner of EDSA and Sultan street when members of the San Juan and Mandaluyong police caught him. The authorities were tipped by his presence after the informant, an ambulant vendor who used to work with him, recognized the suspect.

Tumbali’s appearance had changed after the crime—he lost weight, grew a moustache and looked like a scavenger. However, the tipster was still able to recognize Tumbali "owing to their three years as street buddies selling balut and peanuts."

Tumbali, a native of Cagayan, admitted to raping Geralyn Cortez, claiming he was drunk at the time.

The San Juan police filed rape with homicide charges against Tumbali with the city’s prosecutor’s office. Judge Cesar Sulit, of the San Juan City Regional Trial Court Branch 162 issued a warrant for Tumbali’s arrest.

Sulit refused bail for Tumbali.

Tumbali told Arcinas he was not aware he was wanted by the law and denied going into hiding. He said he sold peanuts in San Juan, Mandaluyong and Pasig to support himself.