Australian national murdered in the Philippines, US man arrested

Australian national murdered in the Philippines, US man arrested
Australian national murdered in the Philippines, US man arrested

An American man has been arrested in the Philippines after an Australian national was stabbed to death in his home office, according to police and local media.

Lambros Zervas, originally from Adelaide, was found dead with multiple stab wounds by police on Tuesday in his home office in a Manila condominium building.

Police said Mr Zervas had been stabbed repeatedly and a garbage bag was held over his head.

According to local media, he had been running a carpet cleaning business in Manila and Cebu province for several years.

The Manila Bulletin said police reports showed Mr Zervas was found by his associate Diosdado Gregorio after his wife, Rocelyn, asked him to check on her husband.

US national Kenneth Darnell Bethea, 58, who also lived in the same condominium, was later arrested by police.

Pasig City police chief Rizalito Gapas told local media that Mr Bethea had spent the night inside a tinted van owned by Mr Zervas' carpet cleaning service before he was found by security services and subsequently arrested by police.

Police believe Mr Bethea and the victim were business associates and local media reports suggest they may have quarrelled over money.

According to The Inquirer, police investigations found Mr Bethea called Ms Zervas to demand money owed to him by Mr Zervas.

Police said a witness saw Mr Bethea hurriedly leaving the office where the body was found, according to the Manila Bulletin and other media.

The Inquirer reported that police investigation found that before the body was discovered Mr Bethea asked for the unit's lock to be changed.

"He may have [wanted] to change the [lock] to delay the discovery of the body, giving him time to escape," Mr Gapas told the Inquirer.

Mr Gapas said that both the Australian and US embassies had been informed of the situation.

Photo Police said Mr Bethea was arested after spending a night hiding in one of the carpet cleaning company vans.

Supplied: Pasig police department

ABC

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