US returns American implicated in Olongapo girl’s murder
OLONGAPO CITY — The United States has extradited back to the Philippines an American who is the primary suspect in the murder of a 23-year-old woman in Zambales province.
Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) turned over Jonathan Dewayne Viane, 29, to the National Bureau of Investigation on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Viane is facing murder charges in a local court in Zambales for the death of Karie Ces “Aika” Mojica, whose body was found in a dike in San Felipe, Zambales in July last year.
Although he expressed mixed feelings after learning that Viane was already in the country, Josar Mojica, the victim’s father, said Viane’s extradition has given them hope that the case would push ahead.
“It’s a good a development that he (Viane) has been brought here but his face is a painful reminder of my daughter’s death,” Josar said on Monday.
Mojica, a resident of Barangay (village) Sta. Rita here and a store supervisor, was found dead in a portion of the Sto. Tomas River dike in San Felipe town on July 25.
Police described the victim’s body as “partly burnt” and her hands tied with a black plastic strap.
Josar said he was thankful that the Department of Justice assisted them in their request to process the extradition of Viane to the Philippines.
“I’m also grateful for the support of my US-based siblings and other relatives who attended the court hearing in Iowa on Jonathan’s extradition,” Josar said.
Viane, a US prison guard, left for America on July 26 last year shortly after policemen launched a manhunt for him and another suspect, Niño de la Cruz.
US marshals arrested Viane on Sept. 3, 2015 in Iowa while members of the police’s Special Action Force in Metro Manila arrested De la Cruz on Aug. 12.
Josar said his daughter was killed after being dragged into Viane’s marital problem. Mojica and the suspect’s wife, who is based in the US, were friends, he said.
Josar said Viane left his wife in the US and took their son to the Philippines in April last year amid a custody battle.
“My daughter had informed [Viane’s wife] about [the suspect’s] whereabouts here. I think that’s the real motive behind this,” he said.
A witness testified that she had accompanied Mojica to meet Viane at about 2 a.m. on July 25 at a gasoline station. JE/rga
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