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The body of Nerilyn Garcia (inset) was found dumped in an air well of a building in Satwa, Dubai in July, 2022.

PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA/SUPPLIED


Murder in Dubai: Nerilyn Garcia’s family breaks silence

The family of Nerilyn Garcia, a Filipina murdered in Dubai, is seeking justice as they buried her in a private ceremony in her Philippine hometown of Bulacan this week.

Nerilyn, 26, was reportedly murdered by her Pakistani ex-boyfriend in Dubai’s Satwa area last July, her sister, Analiza Dacillo, and cousin Maria J (full name withheld), said in an exclusive interview with Expatmedia.net. Police discovered Nerilyn’s body, wrapped in a white bedsheet, dumped in an air well in a building in Satwa, Dacillo and Maria said. The suspect has been arrested.

“We wanted to speak up now. We just want our sister to have justice because what happened to her is inhumane,” Dacillo told Expatmedia.net in Filipino. Nerilyn left behind four children, ages 8, 7, 6 and 5.

Nerilyn’s remains were repatriated to the Philippines on August 18 with the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). She was buried in Bulacan on August 24.

Dacillo said their cousin Maria, also a resident of Satwa, reported Nerilyn missing on July 23 after not being able to contact her for three days. Nerilyn worked as a cleaner in Dubai.

“Her ex-boyfriend confessed that they had an argument that turned physical, and he tied her hands, feet and neck with an electric wire before wrapping her in a bedsheet and throwing her from the rooftop of the four-storey building down the air well. She was reportedly still alive when she was thrown to her death,” Dacillo told Expatmedia.net in Filipino.

Dacillo, who is the eldest of eight siblings and is based in Qatar, said she had long warned her younger sister against dating the Pakistani man, who remains in detention following the murder.

“They have been dating since she worked in Saudi Arabia, and we believe that man convinced her to move to Dubai. My sister broke up with him a long time ago, but he still wanted her back, so he blackmailed her by threatening to post their indecent video,” Dacillo told Expatmedia.net. “They always had a fight because that man blackmailed her,” she added.

Meanwhile, their cousin, Maria, told Expatmedia.net that she last saw Nerilyn alive on July 19 after helping the Filipina secure a part time job in Dubai. They sent messages to each other in the days after that. Maria said she and Nerilyn were very close after her cousin moved to the UAE from Saudi Arabia in September last year. Nerilyn worked for seven months for a maid agency in Dubai before landing a job as a cleaner, Maria said.

Nerilyn Garcia worked in Saudi Arabia before moving to the UAE in September, 2021.


“Her ex-boyfriend stalked her, and even asked for her new address from tenants in the old villa where we used to live in Dubai. We later left that villa and we both rented separate apartments in different buildings in Satwa,” Maria told Expatmedia.net.

Maria said Nerilyn’s ex-boyfriend appeared obsessed with her cousin. “I only saw her ex-boyfriend in person once. They had a fight. It seems he couldn’t get over her dumping him,” she said, adding that Nerilyn’s flatmates reported seeing the suspect stalking her in the building before she disappeared.

Nerilyn was last seen alive on July 22, Maria said. “People who knew her in the neighbourhood said she was seen walking on the street that night, she was in a hurry,” Maria said, adding that she became suspicious when Nerilyn did not respond to her messages in several days.

“Her body was discovered days later after tenants in the building where she lived complained of a foul odor coming from the air well,” Maria said. “Our family is devastated about how she died,” she said in Filipino.

During the burial of Nerilyn Garcia in Bulacan, Philippines on August 24, 2022.


Nerilyn’s family seeks help for funeral costs

“We are grateful to OWWA for helping bring our sister home,” said Nerilyn’s sister, Dacillo. But the cash-strapped family said they are struggling to pay for the burial expenses. “We don’t know where to get the P75,000 (Dh5,357) payment for the funeral,” Dacillo said, adding that OWWA has so far not given them the promised cash assistance of P20,000 to cover the burial costs. Expatmedia.net reached out to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, but there was no comment at the time of this publication on Friday (August 26).

The family of Nerilyn Garcia with OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio.


Meanwhile, Dacillo said she hopes her sister will get the justice she deserves. “She was a good sister, daughter, aunt and person,” she said.

Dacillo described her sister as a dutiful and loving mother. “We used to do a lot of video calls. She always told me she wanted to work abroad so she can support her children and send them to school,” Dacillo said, adding that Nerilyn is divorced from her husband, whom she has four children. The children have been left in the care of Nerilyn’s mother in Bulacan.

The children of Nerilyn Garcia
The children of Nerilyn Garcia.


Her cousin, Maria, echoed the same sentiment. “She was a good person, a loving mother, and always happy. She never carried grudges. She was always on a video call with her children,” Maria told Expatmedia.net, describing Nerilyn.

Nerilyn’s sister, Dacillo, said she was a caring aunt to her own children in the Philippines. “Before she worked abroad, she always updated me with videos and photos of my children,” said Dacillo, who works for a salon in Qatar.

Wiping off tears, Dacillo said the family hopes that her sister will get the justice that she deserves. “I hope the suspect will pay for the life that he took,” Dacillo told Expatmedia.net. ICA/PIA/Expat Media


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