Mon, 08 Nov 1999

Man died from strangulation not stab wounds: Doctor

JAKARTA (JP): A 30-year-old man found dead on Thursday night in West Jakarta died from strangulation, Dr. Zulhasmar Syamsu of the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital morgue said on Saturday.

"Don't look at those stab marks all over his body. There are dotted marks on his lungs, signifying suffocation, and strangulation marks on his neck. He died from strangulation," Zulhasmar, quoting the autopsy report, told The Jakarta Post at the morgue.

The victim, who was found in a van abandoned on the Kebon Jeruk toll road, was identified as Bachruddin, a driver for a steel pipe supplier, PT Besi Pipa Industri Indonesia, in Tangerang. He was heading to Jakarta from the factory.

"From the fingernail marks on the victim's neck, the killer is most likely a male. The stab wounds on his body were made by a small knife or a paper cutter perhaps," Zulhasmar said.

"The stabs were probably made to weaken the victim."

There were small, very neat stab marks under the victim's armpits, on his left buttock, his back, chest, arms, hands, while the victim's lower left lip was torn.

The victim, who hails from Makassar (formerly Ujungpandang), South Sulawesi, was found on the Kebon Jeruk toll road in an abandoned metallic green Isuzu Panther van with license plate number B 1764 VS.

The man's wallet, containing Rp 1 million (US$142.80), and a cellular phone were found intact in the van.

Paharudin, the 25-year-old brother of the victim, visited the morgue in the evening to claim his brother's body for burial.

"My brother is usually very quiet. If he had any enemies or problems at work, he wouldn't say. He wouldn't tell me," said Paharudin, an Army officer who works at the Army's artillery detachment in Tangerang.

"Bacharuddin called me on my cell phone at about 6:30 p.m. on the day of the murder. He sounded fine then."

Paharudin said Bacharuddin, a bachelor, was the third of four children.

"My brother arrived in Jakarta only two and a half years ago. He stayed with me for five months until he got the job in Tangerang."

West Jakarta Police chief Lt. Col. Adjie Rustam Ramdja said on Saturday that the police were still in the dark about who the suspected killers were.

"There is absolutely no indication of a robbery. It was a sadistic kill. This man's arms and legs were tied, his mouth was gagged," Adjie told the Post.

"We are still searching for clues. The three who found the body, Badrianto, 30, Iwan, 30, and Oncin, 24, could not tell much either."

Separately, police have not yet identified a girl found dead from a drug overdose in room 310 of Hotel Permata on Jl. Mangga Besar in West Jakarta. She was in her 20s.

According to a city police report, three of the hotel's employees found the dead girl's body on Thursday at about 2 p.m.

Adjie said the police were still questioning the three employees, Deddy, Yogi and Agus. (01/ylt)