Ashes of slain Pinay to be turned over to family
MANILA – The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC said the ashes of a Filipina who disappeared for over a decade in West Virginia and found to have been murdered by her husband are scheduled to arrive in Manila this week.
The embassy said the cremated remains of Karen Santillan Tait will be turned over to her family in Legazpi City.
Tait was 23-years old, and a mother of one, when she was murdered by her husband, Thomas Neal Tait, 52.
Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr., thanked authorities in Waynesboro, West Virginia for solving the crime.
"If not for their efforts, our kababayan would most likely remain nameless and her killer would still be on the loose," said Ambassador Jose Cuisia in a statement posted on the embassy's website.
Cuisia particularly cited the efforts of Prosecuting Attorney James Camblos III of the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney and case officer Corporal Alyssa Campbell of the Waynesboro Police Department.
He also said authorities and citizens of Waynesboro raised the necessary funds to cover the cost of the cremation, repatriation and burial for Santillan-Tait's remains and other related expenses.
"We thank them and the good people of Waynesboro for going out of their way to make sure that Karen can finally rest in peace with her loved ones in the Philippines," he said.
The embassy coordinated with the Waynesboro authorities since October last year after they identified the remains that have been in the custody of the West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office since 2002 as that of the Pinay.
Reports said the Pinay's disappearance was uncovered last year after her husband failed to account for her whereabouts while he was being investigated over unrelated charges.
Authorities then officially declared her missing until a few months later when DNA samples collected from her family in the Philippines and daughter in the US matched those of the remains recovered at the Greenbrier State Forest in 2002.
Her husband pleaded guilty to second degree murder and is now serving a 30-year prison term in West Virginia, the embassy said.