Six families have been notified that the remains of their loved ones were among 4,300 human bones found at the home of a cannibal serial killer after DNA testing.
Andres Filomeno Mendoza Celis, 72, who worked as a butcher, has admitted to killing around 30 women.
And the names of 29 of his victims have been found in a notebook that he kept in his home on Margaritas Street in the residential suburb of Lomas de San Miguel in the municipality of Atizapan de Zaragoza in the Mexican state of Mexico.
However, police have had to wait for the results of DNA testing before matching names of the missing with some of the 4,300 human bones found buried around his property.
So far, 11 family members of the alleged 30 victims have provided DNA samples. An adult human skeleton has 206 bones, meaning that if the skeletons are complete, there are at least 19 victims to be identified.
One of his alleged victims was Reyna Gonzalez, who was married to a local police officer, was the mother of two girls, and who was hacked to death by Mendoza, whom she and her husband considered a friend of the family.
Mendoza has been formally charged with her murder after his arrest, when cops turned up to quiz him about her disappearance and found her remains during a search of the property.
Reyna had been visiting him at his home when he allegedly plunged a knife into her chest and then used a machete to cuff off her limbs and put her body parts in a bag, which was on a tabletop when it was found.
He has since reportedly admitted to murdering around 30 women in a killing spree that lasted 20 years and eating some of the remains before burying the other body parts around his house, including in his cellar and back garden.
Police used sniffer dogs to find many of the remains and officers were also called in to dig up sections of the floor, where further remains were found. They also recovered women’s clothing, which is believed to have belonged to some of his victims.
When the alleged serial killer was charged last year, Sergio Baltazar, a lawyer hired by Reyna’s family, confirmed that the family had provided DNA and was waiting for forensic experts to confirm her identity so that her remains could be handed over to her husband and buried.
Mendoza was arrested at his home on Saturday, 15th May, 2021, at around 8pm. He has been in custody ever since.
If he is convicted of killing 30 women, that would be more than the ‘Monsters of Ecatepec’, the serial-killer couple Juan Carlos Hernandez and Patricia Martinez, who reportedly killed 20 people between 2012 and 2018.
The public prosecutor’s office said that “six people have already been scientifically identified”. The suspect reportedly wrote down the names of at least 29 victims in a notebook, with the number of identified victims expected to increase.
The investigation is ongoing.