Mass Grave Filled With Dozens Of Dead Women Unearthed In Ex-Cop’s Backyard
A double homicide investigation on a former cop in El Salvador has led to the discovery of a mass grave filled with dozens of female corpses. The women were believed to be victims of a violent sex and murder ring, reports say.
Former police officer Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez was being investigated for the deaths of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter when the discovery was made, the Daily Beast reported. Chavez has admitted to the double homicide.
Police checked the backyard of Chavez's home in the El Salvador town of Chalchuapa and noticed the ground was uneven and soft. When they continued to investigate the area, they found eight pits that were each filled with at least a dozen bodies, according to the report.
The 51-year-old ex-cop was dismissed in 2005 after admitting that he was a sexual predator. Authorities said Chavez preyed on women on social media and promised them the “American Dream.”
“This psychopath has been detained and I believe that 99% of the people who assisted him have been detained,” police chief Mauricio Arriaza Chicas told reporters.
Chavez and 10 other individuals were arrested in connection to a sex and murder ring that left women and some young men dead.
Police are now investigating the suspects in connection with the discovered grave. Based on the assessment of authorities, the makeshift cemetery could be at least two years old, New York Post reported.
Justice Minister Gustavo Villatoro said that more than one person is complicit in the mass grave.
People who filed missing person reports visited the site with photos of their loved ones with the hope that they could identify some of the unearthed corpses. A definite count on the bodies has yet to be given. There could be at least 40 or more in the backyard of Chavez, and it may take a month or so to exhume them.
"There's the hope of recognizing a family member, even among the corpses," said Marleny Barrientos, who carried a photograph of her son who disappeared in 2015.
This development has brought the issue of femicides into focus in the Central American country. Data showed 70 women were killed in 2020 and 111 in 2019. Violence against women worsened across Latin America when the pandemic came about.