(Note: this post was originally written on September 19, 2015)
Yesterday morning, my newsfeed got flooded with a photo of a young girl with the hashtag #JusticeforKarenKayeMontebon. I got curious so I followed the thread and checked the news outlets. What I found out was heartbreaking.
Karen Kaye Montebon was a freshman college student of the University of San Carlos-Cebu. She was raped and killed in their home in Lapu-Lapu City. Her dad found her when he came home in the afternoon. She has bruises on her body and she was lying on the floor with a cord tied to her neck.
Nobody yet knows who killed her. Nobody knows who ended her life and her dreams in a brutal and senseless way. But we all know whoever did it was an animal. A cruel, cold-hearted, depraved animal because no person on their right mind could do such a thing to another human being.
I do not know her personally and before yesterday, I didn’t know she existed yet what happened to her resonated not only to me but to a lot of people. Our homes are the one place in this world where we are supposedly safe and happy and if something like this could happen in the safety of our homes, where else can we be safe?
If a stranger like me feels sadness and pain reading the reports, I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for those people who knew her, loved her, took care of her. I can only imagine how painful it is for the friends she laughed with, cry with and shared memories with. I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for her family who has been with her since the day she was born. I cannot imagine how traumatic this must be for her dad who found her. No parent deserves to see that.
When that animal ended her life, it ended her dreams and that of her family. When that animal strangled her, it ended what would have been a bright future. Now her family and friends are left with what I can only imagine as a big void in their lives.
Karen Kaye, I am a stranger yet I hope you are in a better place now. You did not deserve what you went through. I am sorry your life had to end so soon. I am sorry for how cruel the world is and how it ended your dreams and your hopes. I am sorry that your family had to go through this, no family deserves to go through this. I can only hope that you get the justice that you deserve. I can only pray that your family get through this painful loss. I hope you find peace in the arms of our Creator.