MANILA, Philippines — Slain actress Nida Blanca’s daughter Kay Torres sees the death of her stepfather, Roger “Rod” Strunk, as a big blow in the search for the truth behind her mother’s gruesome death in 2001.
“Rod’s death only makes it more impossible for those answers to be obtained and his death only pushes us farther from the truth,” Torres told GMA-7 News in a statement.
Torres had sought Strunk’s extradition over charges the former actor and singer masterminded her mother’s murder. A hired killer, Philip Medel had named Strunk as the one who ordered the killing. Days after his confession, Medel recanted his statement allowing Strunk to leave for the United States in 2002 supposedly to care for his ailing mother.
In 2003, government prosecutors filed a parricide case against Strunk, together with a murder case against alleged accomplice Medel. Strunk had since fought off extradition amid a Philippines court trial over the murder. Medel is currently detained in a Pasig City jail.
On July 11, Strunk plunged to his death in a Tracy, California inn after falling off the balcony of his second floor room. Local authorities ruled Strunk’s death a suicide.
“It’s very tragic that Rod’s life had to end this way…whatever his faults and shortcomings may have been, I have never wished this kind of misfortune or tragedy on him,” Kay further said in her statement aired on GMA-7 news programs on Tuesday.
Torres said the case will not end with the death of Strunk, who would face a “much higher court.”
“I feel that the case should not end with the death of Rod Strunk; especially since his innocence or guilt has never been proven. Rod may have avoided extradition here but now he will have to face a much higher court.”
“…since this is a heinous crime, the case will proceed,” Torres further said.