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Mexico seeks to downplay case of serial killer suspect who kept women’s remains in his bedroom

Mexico seeks to downplay case of serial killer suspect who kept women’s remains in his bedroom

Mexico City prosecutors seek to downplay case of suspected serial killer who kept women’s bones and a saw in his bedroom

MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in Mexico City sought Thursday to downplay the case of an alleged serial killer who kept women’s bones and a saw in his bedroom, apparently targeting women for more than a decade.

The city’s attorney general said the remains of six women were found in the room rented by the suspect, “and not 20 as some unfounded reports suggest.”

City prosecutor Ulises Lara pointed out that only three of the man’s alleged crimes took place during the current administration, which took office in late 2018. He said the others are believed to have occurred in 2012, 2015 and 2018, meaning the killer went unnoticed for at least 12 years.

Lara criticized reports that all the crimes took place in 2023 and 2024, during the term of former Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who is currently running for president. He called the information “absolutely false and unfounded.”

The prosecutor claimed the killer was essentially unstoppable because “he showed no signs of violent or aggressive behavior in his daily life.”

Under Mexican law, the suspect can only be identified by his first name, Miguel. Local media reported that he worked as a chemist.

Lara did not specify the nature of the remains discovered during a search of the suspect’s rented rooms last week, but local media reported that they were skulls.

Investigators also said they found bloodstains, bones, a saw, cell phones and ID cards of missing women, as well as other “biological materials” in the rooms. Lara said five of the IDs belonged to women who were found alive, but did not say how many belonged to women still missing or among the dead.

Last week, Lara said investigators also found “a series of notebooks that may well be accounts of the acts Miguel committed against his victims.”

The prosecutor rejected criticism that authorities in Mexico City do little to investigate cases of missing women until their bodies pile up, saying the number of reported murders of women has declined.

The suspect in this case was arrested when he allegedly broke into a neighbor’s apartment seeking to kill his seventh victim last week, was interrupted and left behind a surviving witness.

Prosecutors say the man waited for a woman to leave his apartment last week, then rushed in and sexually abused and strangled her 17-year-old daughter.

The mother returned and saw the man leaving, but he hit her in the neck and ran away, authorities said. The mother survived, but not her daughter.

The suspect lived near the crime scene and was quickly identified and arrested. He was remanded in custody to stand trial on charges of murder and attempted murder, both linked to the most recent victims.

Without adequate funding, training or professionalism, prosecutors in the Mexican capital systematically fail to arrest serial killers until the number of victims reaches a point that cannot be ignored.

For example, Lara said her office contacted the families of four missing women because there was reason to believe they might be among the current suspect’s victims.

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, a lawyer who represents the family of one of the women, questioned why authorities had not investigated her disappearance sooner – acting only when evidence linked to her case emerged in the suspect’s apartment.

“Why was there never an investigation, why were people never questioned, even though disappearance reports were filed starting in 2015? » said Gutiérrez.

In 2021, a serial killer in a Mexico City suburb was only arrested after years of alleged crimes – 19 bodies were found chopped up and buried in his home – because his last victim was the wife of a commander from police.

In 2018, a serial killer in Mexico City responsible for the deaths of at least 10 women was only arrested when he was found pushing a dismembered body down the street in a stroller. He had dumped most of his victims’ bodies in wastelands.