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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, December 2, 2019
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Bacoleņa dies in Colorado,
hubby suspect, help sought


A 27-year-old Bacoleña, who was an alleged victim of domestic violence, died in Fort Lupton, Colorado in the United States, and her mother is calling for justice and for help in the repatriation of her remains.

The victim was  Russcel Recelistino, 27, a h uman resource management graduate of La Consolacion College in Bacolod City, her mother Cely Recelistino, a former Negros Occidental provincial government cashier, said yesterday.

Russcel’s husband, Joseph Garza, was taken into police custody, her mother was informed.

“On Nov. 27, 2019 at approximately 7:30 a.m. officers from the Fort Lupon Police Department, Forth Lupon Fire District and Banner Health Ambulance staff responded to an address in the 1200 block of 3rd Street in response to a medical call on an unresponsive person. Upon arrival officers found an unresponsive adult female. She was transported to the Northern Colorado Medical Center where she later died,” a police press release said.

“The cause of death is under investigation and pending an autopsy,” it added.

Cely said on Saturday she learned about her daughter’s death from her employer at the Wholly Stromboli restaurant in Fort Lupton. She said it was not clear yet how her daughter died .

Cely said her daughter and her husband lived with his parents in Fort Lupton. At the time that she was found unresponsive only her husband was at home with her, Cely was told.

Russcel’s remains will be subjected to an autopsy and a hearing is set this week. “Her employer assured me that he will attendthe hearing and assists us in seeking justice,” Cely said.

She said Russcel’s husband was a very jealous man, he would check her phone and social media account. Her daughter complained she was not free, her husband was jealous even of the people she worked with at the restaurant, but she was not doing anything wrong, Cely said.

Russcel had gone to the United States for an OJT (on-the-job training) in Minnesota in 2015 and later moved to Colorado where she met her husband. She was waiting for her green card but she could no longer stand her life with her husband and planned to return to the Philippines in January after she got her state tax refund, her mother said.

Cely said Joseph would always argue with her daughter, but she was safe when his parents were home.

Her daughter had gone to the United States because she wanted to help her family. Russcel’s father, Russ Recelistino, who used to work at the laboratory of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian of Negros Occidental, was diagnosed with fourth stage cancer and died in April.

Cely said the last time she spoke to her daughter was on November 26 and “she told me she was okay”. However, Cely said when she called again she could not reach her, and that is when they got in touch with her employer.

Eliseo Torres Yanong, a friend of Russcel, has started a “gofundme” campaign on the Internet to help raise funds to help her family.

On his Facebook page where he posted the link to the “gofundme” drive, Yanong said “I never ask for help but a few days ago a very close friend of mine lost her life due to domestic violence. She was my classmate in college, we did a culinary competition together and the rest is history. I never ask for help but I realize that I can be a bridge to this gap that her family badly needs right now. Any amount will surely take some weight off in this trying times.”

On the “gofundme” (gofundme.com/f/for-russcel-recelistino?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp%20share-sheet) post, Yanong wrote: “Last week, an unfortunate case of domestic violence cost the life of a sweet and kind girl in Fort Lupton, Colorado. Russcel Recelistino, a friend, a daughter and a sister to many came to the United States a few years ago to finish her internship and was hoping further her career in the Culinary arts industry.

“This campaign was created in aiming to aid her family in whatever way there is to get through this rough chapter of their life. As of the moment, her remains cannot be subjected into an autopsy until a member of her family who are all in the Philippines, will give their permission. Any amount, big or small will be a lending hand in this dark times.”

Cely said she is hoping the country’s officials will help her to get the remains her daughter.

Russcel’s classmates at LCC, who called her Mamsy, said they love her and will miss her.*


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