Philippine Police: “Evidence indicates Peace Corps Volunteer (Julia) Campbell was killed.”
As forensic examiners are working on determining the exact time and cause of death of Julia Campbell – scene of the crime investigators from the PNP are saying the peace corps teacher was the victim of a criminal assault.
Philippine President Statement:
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is extending the Philippine government’s “full cooperation” in the United States ongoing investigation on the circumstances that led to the death of US Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell.
Press Secretary and concurrent Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said in a statement this morning the President “is saddened” by the death of the Peace Corps worker.”The President is saddened by the death of Campbell and the government is extending its full cooperation to the US authorities in investigating the circumstances that led to it,” Bunye said. “It is unfortunate that a committed and selfless person, who has, based on the work she has done in Sorsogon, obviously grown to love our country, met a tragic end here,” he added. Campbell’s body was found Wednesday buried in a shallow grave at a dry creek in Barangay Batad, Ifugao, by one of the 40 locals who volunteered to locate Campbell after she was last seen on April 8 in a hilly area of Barangay Batad.
Campbell, who was from Fairfax, Virginia, was among the 137 US Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines. She was a journalist for the New York Times and other various newspapers for 15 years when she decided to leave her job after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center bombing. She served in ecological and educational projects in Southern Luzon since March 2005. Her latest assignment was in Sorsogon in the Bicol region, particularly in projects for the typhoon Reming’s victims. So far, more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served the country since 1961, making the Philippines one of the oldest Peace Corps program beneficiaries in the world.
…” Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Calderon identified one as a male but added that investigators were still gathering information, including statements from a female masseuse that Campbell was said to have met before she disappeared. “We have to determine if she and Julia met,” Calderon said. “We also have a witness that says that more or less identified the last person seen with her. We have also an idea of the name of the person seen carrying the backpack of the victim. He’s male,” Calderon said. Calderon and Chief Superintendent Raul Gonzales, regional police director of the Cordillera Administrative Region, agreed that there was enough evidence to indicate Campbell was killed. …” Inquirer.net
Statement of the family of Julia Campbell:
Today, we learned the news that our Julia was found. We are so very grateful to the workers and searchers who worked diligently to look for and find our daughter, sister and friend. In addition to the Peace Corps, we would like to thank the Philippine National Police, the Philippine government and the people of the Philippines, especially those in Baranguay Batad, Banaue for the outpouring of support and assistance in the search.
The U.S. Peace Corps and our U.S. Embassy leadership, personnel and especially the Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines have been of great comfort to our family during this difficult time. Director Ron Tschetter and his team exemplify the sense of community Julia loved about the Peace Corps; they have and continue to show great concern for Julia and our family.
During the past two years Julia has been on assignment in the Philippines, she served in various roles in the village of Donsol (province of Sorsogon) where she worked with the local school there to rebuild and stock the school library. Since childhood, Julia was an avid reader who enjoyed great literary works; “Sophie’s Choice” was one of her favorites. Many of her friends and family helped her in a campaign she created to provide age-appropriate reading materials to the library in a project she called “A Book and A Buck”. Through her efforts, she collected more than 500 titles. Julia, a passionate yoga instructor and vegetarian, also worked with the local community to launch an ecology awareness campaign and instrumental in building an Eco Center in Donsol. Most recently, she served as a teacher at the Divine Word College in Legaspi city, where she taught English.
In her forty years, Julia lived a very full life. She loved her family and friends and is much loved. She was passionate in her journalism reporting especially the stories involving people who were able to stand and address adversity or adverse situations.
We have every confidence that the U.S. and Philippine authorities are conducting a thorough investigation into Julia’s untimely death.
Plans are still in development for a memorial service in Fairfax County, Virginia where our family lives.