Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
A man has been arrested for butchering a pregnant woman and cutting the living baby out of her body in order to scam benefits using the newborn.
Police say the baby from the murdered woman was given to a widow who had been pretending to be pregnant by her husband before he died in order to get cash from her family, and needed the child to keep the cash flowing.
The shocking incident was reported in the rural district of Villa Carmelo in the municipality of Candelaria in the western Colombian department of Valle del Cauca on 8th September 2020.
According to an official press statement issued by the Attorney General’s Office, the 28-year-old pregnant victim, identified as Yulexis Valecillos, was tricked into going to a house to meet widowed woman Mariluz Mosquera, 49, who promised to donate clothes for her baby.
According to the evidence collected during the investigation, when the 35-week pregnant woman arrived at the house, she was attacked by Luis Felipe Victoria Arenas, 21, who butchered her with a sharp object.
Local media said Arenas killed her and extracted the baby with the help of Mosquera so she could pretend the baby was her own.
According to the official statement, she pretended to be pregnant for months to the family of her deceased husband who were helping her out financially.
Investigators believe the man hid the victim’s remains in plastic bags and then threw them into a lake.
According to national newspaper Cali 24, Mosquera arrived at a hospital in Candelaria with the baby, saying she had given birth at home.
However, suspicions were raised and the medical staff called the police who arrested her and verified that the baby was not hers.
The police located the pregnant woman’s husband Lizander Alberto Marquez, who had reported her as missing and was able to confirm he was the father of the baby through a DNA test.
The authorities reportedly handed over the baby girl to her father in October last year.
Local media said the widow was processed and released before the police issued an arrest warrant against her and she is currently on the run.
Arenas was captured in Cali at a house he was hiding out in since November last year, and investigators found the remains of the victim’s body on 15th February.
The defendant has been sent to a preventive prison as the investigation continues.
The shocking killing is being compared to a similar in September last year when a young pregnant woman was found dead with her unborn child cut out of her womb after being lured to a fake baby shower by a friend who had become obsessed with stealing a child.
Flavia Godinho Mafra, 24, was 36 weeks pregnant when she was murdered in the town of Canelinha, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
The partner of her school friend admitted using a brick to kill her after luring her to the murder scene on the pretence of a baby shower, local media reported.
And in another case two months later in November, a couple was accused of murdering a 17-year-old girl and kidnapping her four-month-old baby because they could not have children of their own.
Elder Josue Ventura Beltrand, 23, admitted strangling teenage mum Laura Stepanie Rivera and stealing the baby in the city of San Pedro Sula in the Honduran department of Cortes on 27th November last year.
According to local reports, the couples were friends and Laura went to their home on the false pretence that they were going to give her gifts for the baby.
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