2007.04.18: April 18, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Journalism: Crime: Philippines Star: Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave: Team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: Newest Stories: 2007.04.14: April 14, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Chicago Tribune: Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell Missing in Philippines : 2007.04.18: April 18, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Journalism: New York Times: Manila Says Peace Corps Worker Is Dead : 2007.04.18: April 18, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Journalism: Crime: The Guardian: Philippine soldiers found the body of a missing Peace Corps volunteer in a shallow grave in a mountainous northern town where she disappeared while hiking, an army spokesman said : 2007.04.18: April 18, 2007: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Safety: Journalism: Crime: Philippines Star: Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave: Team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-64-148.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.64.148) on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 12:13 pm: Edit Post

Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave: Team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa

Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave: Team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa

"Itís a mountainous area. The body that was found was buried in a shallow grave and some parts of the body are jutting out so they were able to find it," Philippine Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jose Torres told reporters. It was not clear if she had been buried by someone or if she had been covered in debris during a fall. Police speculated earlier in the week that she may have fallen off a cliff. "Although they believe the body is that of Julia Campbell, let us wait for the forensics people to declare that the body is indeed that of Julia Campbell," Torres said. The body, when found, was already in an advanced state of decomposition. Army Capt. Narciso Nabulnog and local guides found the body, according to Col. Vic Felix, commanding officer of the 502nd Infantry Brigade. Felix also said, "the body is still there. It will be exhumed tomorrow. For now, itís not for us to say that itís Campbell. The confirmation should come from the police forensic experts and the US Embassy." The exhumation will be done today when a team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa, Japan. Soldiers from the Philippine Army are securing the gravesite in preparation for the US forensics expertsí arrival there today.

Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave: Team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa

Body of Peace Corps worker found in grave

The Philippine Star 04/19/2007

The body of the missing US Peace Corps volunteer was found partially buried in a shallow grave in the mountains of Banaue in Ifugao province yesterday, the military said.

Julia Campbell, 40, had gone missing on Easter Sunday, while hiking solo on a mountain trail and the US government earlier offered a $10,000 reward for information to help find her.

Campbellís body was discovered with her feet protruding from the ground near a creek in the village of Batad, a picturesque hamlet fringed by terraced mountainsides planted with rice.

No cause of death was announced. Police had earlier ruled out that the Fairfax, Virginia native had been kidnapped by communist insurgents.

Campbell, who wrote in her weblog that she "quit the rat race in New York" at age 38 for a new life, had been working in the Philippines for almost two years and spoke the local language.

"Itís a mountainous area. The body that was found was buried in a shallow grave and some parts of the body are jutting out so they were able to find it," Philippine Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jose Torres told reporters.

It was not clear if she had been buried by someone or if she had been covered in debris during a fall. Police speculated earlier in the week that she may have fallen off a cliff.

"Although they believe the body is that of Julia Campbell, let us wait for the forensics people to declare that the body is indeed that of Julia Campbell," Torres said. The body, when found, was already in an advanced state of decomposition.

Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Maclang earlier announced that the body of a woman who may be Campbell had been found in Batad. The US Embassy said it was still trying to confirm the details.

Army Capt. Narciso Nabulnog and local guides found the body, according to Col. Vic Felix, commanding officer of the 502nd Infantry Brigade.

Felix also said, "the body is still there. It will be exhumed tomorrow. For now, itís not for us to say that itís Campbell. The confirmation should come from the police forensic experts and the US Embassy."

The exhumation will be done today when a team of US forensics pathologists arrives from Okinawa, Japan.

Soldiers from the Philippine Army are securing the gravesite in preparation for the US forensics expertsí arrival there today.

Regional police chief Raul Gonzales said that while there was "no positive identification yet," the body was fair-skinned Ė possibly Caucasian Ė and clad in clothes similar to those that Campbell was last seen wearing.

"The ones who will identify her are still on the way," Gonzales said. "They are from the US Embassy."

US Peace Corps Director Ronald Tschetter flew by helicopter over Batad on Tuesday and later drove to the area to monitor the massive search for Campbell.

"I can understand why people would want to hike in the area," Tschetter told journalists in Manila before news broke about the discovery of the body.

"Itís gorgeous," he added. "But itís rugged and the paths, the hiking trails, in some places, are very narrow," he also said the terrain was "a bit treacherous, with very steep gorges covered with heavy flora."

After talking with Peace Corps staff and PNP officials, Tschetter said "there is absolutely no indication at this juncture that Campbell may have been abducted by communist rebels or criminal elements."

He said it was "completely out of character for (Campbell) to just vanish" on her own and that he believes there was "some sort of accident."

He also thanked the Philippine government for the massive search and recovery effort it mounted to find Campbell when he called on President Arroyo at Malacañang yesterday morning, just before the body was discovered.

Tschetter, accompanied by US Embassy Charge díAffaires Paul Jones and US Peace Corps Country Director Karl Beck, expressed his "deep appreciation for the Filipino people, the military and the (PNP), as well as the governor of the district, (because) everyone has been supportive for the search for Julia Campbell."

He also said Mrs. Arroyo expressed her thanks to the US Peace Corps volunteers and asked him "to tell the American people how sorry she was for what happened."

"The Peace Corps volunteers will continue to do their work," Tschetter said. "I wanted to meet with (the volunteers) to express support for them. These volunteers are very close to each other, so theyíre very emotionally connected and attached to Julia, so we need to just make sure that weíre sensitive to their emotions and their needs at this very difficult time."

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said he received a report about the discovery of the remains by the 15th Infantry Battalion from Armed Forces chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. at 10:30 yesterday morning.

"We are saddened by her death but, hopefully, it was not by any other cause but pure accident," Ermita said.

A team of 80 rescuers using tracker dogs and helicopters had been searching for Campbell, one of 137 Peace Corps volunteers working in the Philippines.

She was last seen late afternoon hiking on a trail leading to Batad after she was driven to the trailhead. She also spoke to a couple of locals and bought a soft drink from a store along the way.

A former journalist, Campbell had been working as an English teacher at the Divine Word College in Legaspi City in Albay province since October 2006. She previously taught at a public school in Donsol in nearby Sorsogon province, said Nora Gallano, assistant dean of the Divine Word College of Liberal Arts.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Calderon ruled out the involvement of communist rebels in Campbellís disappearance "because the area has been cleared of insurgents."

Ifugao provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir said by telephone Tuesday that Campbell, clad in blue denim jeans, black shirt and a shawl, was last seen buying soda from a store in Batad.

She was only wearing sandals and had bought a bus ticket to return to Manila by April 9, indicating that she did not plan to extend her stay. She wanted to take a long hike to a spot to look at the rice terraces, Ganir said.

The mountainous northern regions of Luzon are home to the Banaue rice terraces, a World Heritage site and famous tourist spot. While communist rebels once plagued the area, the crime rate has remained low and attacks on foreigners are isolated.

In 2002, a German diplomat and his wife were taken by gunmen from the area and robbed of their belongings and money before they were released unharmed. Ė Artemio Dumlao, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Pia Lee-Brago, Chuck Paz, AFP, AP




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Headlines: April, 2007; Peace Corps Philippines; Directory of Philippines RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Philippines RPCVs; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Journalism; Crime





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Story Source: Philippines Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Philippines; Safety; Journalism; Crime

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