Police: Blows to head killed volunteer

A bloodstained pole used to pound rice was found, said Philippine officials.

Published April 22, 2007

MANILA, Philippines - A Peace Corps volunteer found buried in a shallow grave in a Philippine mountain village was killed by blows to the head and there were signs that she had tried to ward off an attack, police said Saturday.

A bloodstained wooden pole used to pound rice was found near the home of a suspect in the death of Julia Campbell, a freelance journalist who had been teaching English in the Philippines since October 2006. She worked for the St. Petersburg Times in 1996 and 1997.

Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, Va., suffered "multiple blunt traumatic injuries of the head," said Chief Inspector Mamerto Bernabe, who led the autopsy. Her arms also were injured, indicating that she tried to block the blows, crime laboratory chief superintendent Arturo Cacdac said.

Pedro Ganir, police chief of Ifugao province, said the suspect is the husband of a woman who sold a Coca-Cola to Campbell before she went on a hike.

Investigators said that a witness claimed he saw the man near the grave where Campbell's body was found on Wednesday, 10 days after she disappeared.