A husband-and-wife pair who terrorized the sprawling Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec are facing at least 114 years behind bars after being sentenced for four crimes that include femicide, hiding human remains and human trafficking.
On Thursday, a judge sentenced Juan Carlos Hernández Bejar and Patricia Martínez Bernal, known as the “Monsters of Ecatepec,” to 40 years each for the femicide of Arlet Samanta on April 25, 2018. Hernández told the court that he had maintained a relationship with Samanta, who lived in the same apartment building as the couple in Ecatepec, and described her as “beautiful, intelligent and perceptive.”
But after Martínez grew jealous of Samanta, she “gave the order” that her husband’s lover be killed. Hernández and Martínez conspired to lure Samanta to their apartment, where Martínez stabbed her to death in the bathroom.
The couple had previously been sentenced to 40 years for the September 2018 femicide of Nancy Noemí, four years for selling Noemí’s baby to another couple and 30 years for hiding a body. The sentences will run consecutively and total 114 years. They also face five other criminal proceedings for femicide and one for forced disappearance.
Hernández and Martínez were arrested on October 4, 2018, when they were transporting human remains in a baby carriage. In a subsequent police search of their residence, more body parts were found.
Police say that for six years the couple had been killing women by luring them to their apartment with the pretext of selling used clothes and other items. The couple has confessed to killing as many as 20 women and eating and sexually abusing some of their remains.