SANTAQUIN, Utah County — A former Utah man was arrested Wednesday in the Philippines after allegedly killing his wife and then trying to commit suicide.
James Edward Moore II reportedly assaulted his wife, Aiko Baniqued Moore, 28, a Filipina model who has appeared in several magazines and commercials, causing severe head trauma, according to ABS-CBN News. She died as a result of her injuries.
After allegedly beating up his wife, Moore ran off and reportedly slit his throat but lived, according to the news outlet.
Between the time he attacked his wife and slit his throat, however, he called his ex-wife, Amber Seddon, who lives in Santaquin. She received a nearly incoherent call from her ex-husband at 1:30 a.m. local time.
"He basically told me that he's very sorry for everything that's happened, that he's done, to please forgive him, that he just killed himself, and hung up," she said.
Seddon tried calling back several times, but no one answered. It wasn't until she started getting calls from other acquaintances and authorities in Makati, Manila, as well as viewing news reports online, that she realized what had happened.
"I don't think there's words to describe what I thought or how I felt. It was kind of like something you see in a movie, not something that happens in real life," she said.
During her brief phone call, Seddon said she could hear her and Moore's 5-year-old child in the background. She said Wednesday that her son was safe.
Moore grew up in Hurricane. He and Seddon met at an LDS singles ward in Orem. They were married and had a son together. But while they were married, Moore began seeing Aiko Baniqued, Seddon said. She and James Moore later got divorced.
In 2009, Moore moved to the Philippines to expand his call center business.
Based on her experience with her ex-husband, as well as things Aiko Baniqued had said herself, Seddon said she was not surprised to hear about alleged abuse between him and his new wife.
"Sadly, no, I'm not. I'm shocked that it went this far and it actually happened," she said.
Seddon said Aiko Baniqued "was a very nice, sweet person. She treated my children like they were her own. She was the best you could ever ask for a stepmother."
Seddon's son was visiting his father at the time of the alleged murder and was due to return to Utah in time for Christmas. He is currently being held in an orphanage until a family member can get him.
Seddon is not able to go to the Philippines to get her son because she is 33 weeks pregnant. Seddon said her father was going to fly out to get him, though she wasn't sure how the aftermath of the typhoon would affect how soon he could get over there.
Moore’s sister, Ashley Aleman, said she is also doing whatever she can to help.
“We didn’t want any kind of trouble getting him from the orphanage back to his mom,” said Aleman, who lives in Maryland.
Aleman said what’s happened is surreal.
“You don’t want to believe that your brother is capable of something like that,” she said.
Seddon said she didn't wish her ex-husband any ill will. She believes he will likely be "tortured" by the death of Aiko Baniqued for the rest of his life.
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