Probe launched in Peru after theft of 18 bodies

Grisly crime at Perpetuo Socorro cemetery in town of Puerto Eden comes week after another 15 to 20 bodies were stolen.

Peru Puerto Eten map

Peruvian authorities are investigating the theft of 18 bodies from the Perpetuo Socorro cemetery in the town of Puerto Eden in the Lambayeque province.

This frightful event comes a week after another 15 to 20 bodies were stolen from the San Jose Cemetery, located in the same province.

The robbers took advantage of the lack of security in the Perpetuo Socorro cemetery, located some 750km from the capital Lima, to extract the bodies. They also took flowers and ornaments with them.

Local media reported 13 bodies of children and five adults were taken.

Maria Rodriguez confirmed the body of her son had been taken.

“My first son who was a year and a half” was among those stolen, Rodriguez said.

Residents are outraged by the grisly crime and have asked local authorities to tighten up security in the area.

Strangers with backpacks 

Cemetery visitor Cecilia Niquen said she had seen strangers walking away from the premises, carrying backpacks.

“We had gone to the cemetery and saw strange people walking down with backpacks,” Niquen said.

Mario Pasco, the mayor of Puerto Eden Mayor, condemned the theft.

“We completely condemn these actions as a town resident and their representative. It would seem that those who have done this have no relatives and above all, no feelings. It is up to local and state authorities to provide greater security and to take radical action against these people,” Pasco said.

On April 7, several tombs at the San Jose Cemetery, were also broken into, with items of clothing and bones discarded.

According to local media, the police are investigating two possible hypotheses for both thefts. The first is that the robbers were medical students interested in cadavers for surgical training and the second is that they were traditional healers, looking to use body parts in their practice.

Source: Reuters