MexicoAuthorities arrested a suspect in the murder of seven girls after luring them in with Facebook recruitment.
“We discovered at least seven murders, the victims were all young women, and the clues all led to the suspect,” said Ricardo Mejía, an official at Mexico’s Ministry of Public Security, when announcing the suspect’s arrest on Monday. /6.
Surveillance cameras in two states showed that this person met the victim in a public place and once took a motorbike to carry a victim.
Mejía said the most recent case involved a 31-year-old woman from Veracruz state who was murdered after going to a job interview last month. “Viridiana Moreno left her home in the town of Cardel, Veracruz, to the Bienvenido hotel to schedule an interview with someone via Facebook,” Mejía said. “Then she disappeared.”
The victim’s body was discovered after 4 days in an unrecognizable state. Authorities then identified the victim with identification cards found at the scene and DNA testing.
Prosecutors in the state of Morelos, central Mexico, said on June 2 that the suspect was also involved in the April murder of a 22-year-old schoolgirl looking for work.
Local activists say she was lured to meet the suspect at a cafe in March after reading a job advertisement on Facebook. The suspect took the victim to a barbershop and this is where she was murdered. The victim’s body was found three days later “beaten, sexually abused and strangled”, according to prosecutors.
Investigators believe that the common point of both cases is that the victim disappeared after coming into contact with the suspect in a public place, surrounded by many people, and willing to go with him.
The suspect used many fake names, was wanted for rape in 2012. Juan Carlos Gasperín and Greek Román Villalobos were the two most commonly used names, according to prosecutor Morelos.
The suspect was arrested with a woman in the state of Querétaro. It is not clear if he is represented by an attorney. Authorities suspect he is also involved in cases in the states of Querétaro and Puebla.
The desperation of rural women to find work and the underground economy in Mexico has facilitated recruitment scams. Authorities on June 2 rescued two 13- and 14-year-old girls who were tricked into running away from home to the western state of Jalisco for work. Two children and the suspected kidnapper were discovered at a bus stop in Mexico City.
Hong Hanh (Theo AP)