The Jakarta Post
Legislative candidate, Eril Ario Ristanto, 21, was found dead on Wednesday in his rented boarding room in Bandung, West Java.
The younger brother of Trenggalek Regent Emil Dardak, who was set to run as a candidate with the National Mandate Party (PAN), was found dead in his room with a plastic bag covering part of his head.
Bandung City Police chief Sr. Comr. Irman Sugema said the police were still investigating Eril’s cause of death. Eril was registered as a maritime science student at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
“From our investigation, we found no signs of violence,” said Irman on Thursday.
Rena Emaliana, a cleaner for The Kartipah, the building where Eril rented a room, knocked on Eril’s door at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday. After Rena knocked three times, he reported to the building’s management, asking for a spare key to enter the room.
A security guard helped Rena enter the room, where they found Eril’s body on the floor with a plastic bag covering part of his head.
Irman said the room was a mess as Eril had asked the cleaning service to stop cleaning it for the past month.
The police’s crime unit head, Adj. Sr. Comr. Moh. Rifai, said the victim had accepted a package of small green cans containing nitrogen. The canister is usually used for whipped cream.
“At 8 p.m. [on Tuesday night], he accepted the package. A witness from a room next door heard a clinking sound at 11 p.m. Maybe it was the bottles dropping,” said Rifai.
The victim also had similar cans that were red.
“The television and computer in his room were on. That’s why we need digital forensic experts to probe [it],” said Rifai.
Biological forensics is also required as a hose was found inside the plastic bag that covered part of his head. The hose was connected to a gas canister suspected to contain helium.
Rifai confirmed that the victim was alone when he died. “The room’s door was locked from the inside. The key was in the lock,” he said.
Hasan Sadikin Hospital, where Eril’s body was examined, said Eril likely died at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, about eight hours before his body was found.
Dismissing speculation of murder, Emil, who was recently elected East Java deputy governor, said his younger brother died of heart attack.
“We saw [his body], but there were no previous records [of heart problems],” he said after Eril’s funeral in Tanah Kusir, South Jakarta, as quoted by kompas.com.
He said his family had rejected an autopsy to prevent further agony for Eril.
“We have accepted his death,” said Emil.
Eril was supposed to run for the East Java VII electorate, which includes Trenggalek.