Peace Corps death was homicide
The volunteer, 40, who attended Punahou, went missing on a hike in the Philippines
MANILA » Blows to the head killed a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who was found buried in a shallow grave in a northern Philippine mountain village, officials said yesterday after an autopsy.
Julia Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, Va., suffered "multiple blunt traumatic injuries of the head," police Chief Inspector Mamerto Bernabe, a pathologist who headed the autopsy, told reporters at a suburban funeral parlor.
Bernabe, assistant chief of the medico-legal division of the national police crime laboratory, said Campbell sustained "plenty" of injuries on the face and the top of the head.
"This only means that her death wasn't an accident," crime laboratory head Chief Superintendent Arturo Cacdac said.
He said Campbell's arms also were injured, indicating that she tried to block the blows.
Campbell is a one-time Hawaii resident who spent her middle-school years in the islands.
She attended Punahou School, where she was a classmate of KITV's Keoki Kerr, the station reported last week. She last visited Hawaii in January to celebrate her 40th birthday, KITV reported.
Campbell's remains were immediately turned over to the Peace Corps after the six-hour autopsy, which was observed by U.S. forensic experts, Cacdac said.
Cacdac said a full report will be submitted to national police Chief Oscar Calderon. It could take up to three weeks to obtain results from DNA tests on samples taken from "critical" parts of Campbell's body, including her fingernails, he added.
Campbell's body was found buried in a shallow grave Wednesday, 10 days after she went missing during a solo hike in the village of Batad in Banaue township to see the area's famed mountainside rice terraces.
Regional police commander Chief Superintendent Raul Gonzales said the autopsy showed whoever was responsible "made sure she was dead."
Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir, police chief of Ifugao province, which includes Banaue, said police recovered a bloodstained pole used to pound rice made of hard wood near the residence of a suspect, who has gone into hiding.
The suspect has been identified as the husband of a woman who sold Campbell a soda before she proceeded with her hike in the remote area -- a World Heritage site -- in Ifugao province, about 160 miles north of Manila.
The woman told GMA television, however, that her husband was not in Batad when Campbell disappeared.
Ganir earlier said investigators were looking into "robbery with homicide, or rape with homicide."
Stacy Mactaggert, a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, said Campbell's remains would be brought home to her family in the United States as soon as legal requirements, such as a death certificate, are completed.
Campbell -- a freelance journalist who had reported for the New York Times and other media organizations -- left 136 other Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines. She had been teaching English at the Divine Word College in Albay province's Legazpi city, southeast of Manila, since October 2006.