Mexican couple who were caught carrying dismembered human parts in a baby stroller may have been responsible for as many as 20 murders, according to reports.
The pair were stopped by police in Ecatepec, a city on the outskirts of Mexico City, after being placed under surveillance by officers investigating the disappearance of three women. Phone records showed the couple had contacted the women before they went missing, reports the Associated Press.
During a search of the baby carriage, police found plastic bags filled with human remains, which the pair were believed to be attempting to dispose of.
During a search of the house from which the couple exited, more body parts were found, some of which were in such bad condition they needed forensic testing to identify. The couple were also said to have sold some body parts, although authorities do not know to whom, reports the BBC.
Following the couple’s arrest, the male suspect, identified as Juan Carlos, confessed to killing 20 people, giving the names of 10 of them.
According to the BBC, Carlos told a hearing he killed 28-year-old Nancy Huitron, who was reported missing along with her 2-month-old baby girl, Valentina, in September, as well as two other single mothers who have been reported missing: Arlet Olguín, 23, and Evelyn Rojas. 29.
Alejandro Gomez, the chief prosecutor of Mexico State, said the male suspect also confessed to sexually abusing some of his victims, most of whom were single mothers, before killing them. Juan Carlos and his partner, Patricia, allegedly lured the women to their home with the promise of cheap baby clothes.
The suspects also allegedly confessed to selling 2-month-old Valentina to another couple after killing Huitron. The baby was later recovered by police and handed over to her maternal grandmother, the BBC reports.
Prosecutors have not been able to determine a motive for the murders, but Gomez said the male suspect has shown signs of a personality disorder, as well as resentment for his mother and former girlfriend, reports the Associated Press.
“What seemed macabre to me is that this person mentioned 10 cases in which he gives details, the names of the victims; he gave us the clothing they had on at the time,” Gomez told Radio Formula. “He seemed happy about what he had done.”
Amid a rise in violent crime in Mexico in recent years, thousands of women have been disappeared or murdered. According to government statistics cited by Reuters, there were 2,585 suspected murders of women in 2017, up from 1,755 in 2015. Mexico State, which borders Mexico City on three sides and is the country’s most populous state, saw the highest proportion of women being killed.
Photo Credit: Dr. Weil