A man arrested last week in México state has confessed to killing at least 20 women, sexually abusing some of them and selling their belongings and bones.
Juan Carlos N., 34 and his wife Patricia N., 38, were arrested in the municipality of Ecatepec Thursday after leaving a house with a baby carriage containing human remains.
Authorities had placed the couple under surveillance as part of an investigation into the disappearance of three women and a two-month-old baby in April, July and September this year.
The baby girl, who the couple admitted they sold for 15,000 pesos (US $800), has been found safe and sound and is now being cared for by her grandmother.
At an initial hearing yesterday, state prosecutors said the remains of two women were found in the couple’s home.
More remains were also found at a vacant lot near the couple’s home and at two other addresses in the Ecatepec neighborhood of Jardines de Morelos.
Investigators found body parts in eight buckets filled with cement as well as inside plastic bags in a freezer.
The remains will be subjected to forensic testing for identification purposes.
The prosecutors also said that that both Juan Carlos and Patricia have been subjected to psychiatric testing.
The former was found to have both psychotic and personality disorders while the latter has suffered from mental retardation since birth and also presented signs of delirium.
Both, however, know the difference between right and wrong, the testing determined.
Juan Carlos said that he was driven to commit at least 20 murders over the past six years because of his hatred for women.
His misogyny, the suspect told investigators, was cultivated by the treatment he received from his mother, who dressed him in female clothing when he was a boy and forced him to watch her having sex with several men.
Juan Carlos confessed to slitting the throats of his victims after which he engaged in sexual acts with their bodies before cutting them up into small pieces and placing most of the remains in jars filled with formaldehyde.
Some body parts, however, were fed to dogs and body fat and skin were used to fertilize potted plants, he said.
Patricia is alleged to have helped her husband to cut up and dispose of the bodies.
She told investigators that she was responsible for convincing victims to enter their home under the pretext of showing them clothes and other items for sale.
Both Juan Carlos and Patricia have been ordered to remain in preventative custody at Ecatepec’s Chiconautla prison.
According to a report in the newspaper Milenio, the couple first met in a bar in Jardines de Morelos, the same neighborhood where they later lived together.
Residents of Ecatepec — a sprawling, densely populated municipality in greater Mexico City that is notorious for femicides — took to the streets yesterday to protest against violent crime against women both in the municipality and further afield.
The president of the México state Congress, Azucena Cisneros Coss, was one of around 1,500 participants who chanted and held up signs emblazoned with “ni una más” (not one more [femicide victim] as they marched.
She described the situation in Ecatepec as both a “state of emergency” and a crisis of violence against women and urged the state government to dismiss Mayor Indalecio Ríos, who she said has done little to combat crime.
Cisneros, a deputy for the Morena party, also took aim at state Public Security Secretary Maribel Cervantes Guerrero, claiming that she has never set foot in Ecatepec despite 40% of the state’s crime occurring there.
“I’m not exaggerating by saying that we are in a deep security, social and economic crisis,” she said.
There were at least 2,585 murders of women in Mexico in 2017, according to official statistics, and of the total México state recorded the highest number.