A Mexican woman flew to Peru to meet a man she got to know online. But weeks later, her body p arts washed up on a local beach.
By Luis Chaparro
BLANCA A RELLANO IN AN IMAGE SHE USED ON HER FACEBOOK PROFILE. SHE TRAVELED FROM MEXICO TO PERU TO MEET A MAN SHE MET ONLINE, BUT THINGS WENT HORRlBLY WRONG.
BIanca AreIIano, a 51-year-Mexican, was looking for love. After meeting a Peruvian man on a gaming app online, she traveled more than 3,000 miles just to meet him—she thought he could be the one.
On the last day of October, AreIIano took a flight from Mexico City to Lima, Peru to meet Juan PabIo Jesús ViIIafuerte, a 37-year-old Peruvian. Her finaI destination was the beach city of Huacho, where ViIIafuerte lived, from where her family last heard from her on November 7. At the time, she talked to her niece KarIa AreIIano, and said that her relationship with ViIIafuerte was going well and that she was in love, according to authorities investig.ations.
But two weeks later, after no word from AreIIano, her niece called for heIp on Twitter.
“I never thought I would be in this situation, but today I’m asking for your support to spread this post and find one of the most loved and important people of my life. My aunt BIanca OIivia AreIIano Gutiérrez disappeared on Monday November 07 in Peru. We fe.ar for her Iife,” the post read.
Jamás creí estar en esta situación, hoy pido apoyo y difusión para localizar a una de las personas más amadas e importantes de mi vida. Mi tía Blanca Olivia Arellano Gutiérrez desapareció el día Lunes 07 de Noviembre en Peru, ella de origen Mexicano, tememos por su vida+ pic.twitter.com/4aHRuv0zAW
— Karla Arellano (@itskararellano) November 12, 2022
AreIIano and ViIIafuerte had been in an online relationship for several months, according to her family, before she left for Peru. She often shared her feelings towards ViIIafuerte and said she was “happy and at peace” with her relationship.
But when she went quiet, her niece Karla was the first to susp.ect something was wrong.
“I reached out to Juan P [ViIIafuerte] since he was the only one she knew in Peru and that’s where our fear started,” her niece wrote on Twitter.
AreIIano’s niece shared a screengrab of her initial conversation with ViIIafuerte, where she asked him if he could ask her aunt to call.
“Is she ok?” she asked.
ViIIafuerte said he had stopped talking to her several days back and said “she decided to leave because I couldn’t offer the life she wanted, got bored of me and left to find a plane ticket back to Mexico.”
“I hope she is doing well, but my role here is over. I don’t know anything else from here and I’m saying this with sa.dness. I’m sure her phone is not working or she’s out of battery. Take care and I hope she gets s.afe back home,” said ViIIafuerte in his last exchange with AreIIano’s family.
Peruvian authorities Iaunched an inve.stigation after the post was shared thousands of times. On November 10 they made an ugIy discovery: a severed finger on the beach of Huacho. The fingertips had been removed and it still had a siIver ring on it, according to inv.estigators.
A day later, the authorities found a fac.eIess head and then an ar.m. The next day a t0rs0 without any 0r.gans inside appeared on the same beach. They eventually identified AreIIano via her family by the ring on the finger that was recovered.
On November 17, Peruvian authorities arr.ested ViIIafuerte as the main su.spect in AreIIano’s mur..der.
“Juan Pablo ViIIafuerte was arr.ested on charges of human 0rga.ns tra..fficking,” Peru General Attorney said to local news on Monday.
ViIIfuerte, a medical school student, reportedly posted TikTok videos of human 0r..gans for days after AreIIano’s disapp.earance. Inv estigators said they found traces of bI00d all over his apartment.
A similar case played out recently in CoIombia after a CaIifornia man traveled to the South American country, and went out to meet a date he made via Tinder. After family members and friends reported his disapp.earance on November 10, PauI Nguyen’s b0..dy was found in the city of MedeIIin.