Hope fades for California hostage in Philippines
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. (AP) – The family of a California man reportedly killed by rebels in the Philippines struggled to hold onto hope Monday.
Relatives of Guillermo Sobero held out hope he was still alive last week after Philippine authorities were unable to confirm claims by a rebel leader that Sobero had been beheaded.
But Philippine officials said they now believe Sobero, 40, of Corona, is dead. Although no remains were found, officials based their conclusion in part on information provided by one of the three hostages freed by the rebel group last week.
”I still have hope he’s alive. It’s getting harder. The reports are not good,” Sobero’s brother, Pablo Sobero, said.
Sobero’s relatives also met Monday with U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, and FBI agents, who pledged support to either find Sobero or his remains, family members said.
”They said they are working on finding my brother,” Pablo Sobero said.
Officials believe Sobero is dead but don’t know if he was beheaded or succumbed to infection after being wounded.
Brig. Gen. Edilberto Adan said Sobero appeared to have died the night of June 11 after he was hogtied and separated from the other hostages. Sobero was suffering a wound in his right foot and appeared to be diabetic.
Adan said Sobero had been injecting himself, presumably with insulin, during a boat trip from the resort where he was kidnapped May 27, but ran out of medicine and started shaking.
But Pablo Sobero said his brother was not diabetic; neighbor Cherrill Renwick said he suffered from asthma.
Sobero, a father of four, is a Peruvian native who worked waterproofing homes and decks.
Sobero, whose children are 2, 3, 6 and 13, moved to California with his family in the early 1980s. His three brothers and two sisters live in Cathedral City.
He and his wife of seven years were divorcing when he was abducted.
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