The homeless woman in the viral “free hug” video on social media died on Saturday morning, July 2.
The homeless woman in the video that trended online was later identified to be Melanie Dubos. She went viral after hugging an ABS-CBN reporter during her live report.
Thanks to the viral video, Melanie was reunited with her sister Mona Dubos, who had been looking for her for a long time.
She was confined to a psychiatric hospital for her mental health treatment but unfortunately passed away this month, according to an ABS-CBN report.
The ABS-CBN report also stated that Peachy Lacabo of the Muntinlupa Social Services Department confirmed the death of Melanie.
“Hindi na po tayo nakakuha ng iba pang information kasi nga po yung nagbigay lang po satin ng information is the doctor lang po siya sa sakit pero not the psychiatrist. Eh nung tinatawagan po natin eh hindi po talaga natin siya natatagpuan palagi pong nasa meeting,” Lacabo said.
Melanie’s family is still waiting for further details since the National Center for Mental Health, where Melanie was confined, still cannot confirm the cause of her death.
Moreover, Lacabo also said that they are still waiting for swab test results of Melanie before releasing her remains.
Melanie’s mother, Aida Dubos, who had just left Manila from Sultan Kudarat to visit Melanie at the hospital, was distraught when she heard the news.
“Grabe sobrang nanginginig talaga ang katawan ko, buong katawan ko nanginginig talaga. Hindi ko alam anong gagawin ko ma’am. Sobrang sakit po. Ni hindi ko man lang siya nakita ng personal,” Aida told ABS-CBN news.
Aida hopes to bring Melanie’s remains to Mindanao for a proper burial, but she doesn’t know how to fund it.
“Nanghihingi po ako ng tulong kung sino yung mabuting ano ho na tulungan yung anak ko na sana makauwi dito sa Mindanao,” she said.
“Kasi kahit labi na lamang niya yung makita namin po. Nagpapasalamat po ako inyong lahat na nakuha siya pero ang pinakamasakit andyan na po siya sa ospital – bakit ba siya namatay agad? Hindi namin siya nakita,” Aida added.