In this digital age it’s often easy to forget one of the earliest survival rules imbedded in us as children, “stranger danger.” With so much of our lives consumed with social media, its easy to feel like the person or persons you’re communicating with are no longer “strangers,” we start to forget that we don’t actually know these people. We may even start to develop romantic feelings for these people and find ourselves deep in relationships all the while forgetting that we don’t actually know anything really about this person that we are communicating with. The danger comes in when we cross our digital lives with our real ones, and upon meeting these people, we often find out that the person we have been talking to (sometimes for years even) isn’t actually who we thought. Oftentimes it’s simply a disappointment and we move on with our lives, slightly disgruntled and perhaps more cautious in our online endeavors, but every once in a while, we aren’t so fortunate to just meet someone with a few more personality quirks than we were prepared for, sometimes we are dangerously reminded of that old childhood rule of stranger danger, as we find ourselves face to face with a monster.
Sadly, this is what happened to 51-year-old Blanca Arellano, as she prepared to journey over 3000 miles from Mexico to Peru to meet her online boyfriend 37-year-old Juan Pablo Jesus Villafuerte. Arellano and Villafuerte had been communicating for months after meeting on an online gambling forum before Arellano decided to take the trip to meet her lover, claiming that the online relationship proved to be standing the test of an in-person one and she had even developed feelings of love for the man she had only known behind a screen. After informing her family of her plans, Arellano headed for the beach city of Huacho for what was supposed to be a romantic getaway, but sadly it would be weeks before anyone would realize something was amiss.
After not hearing from her aunt in weeks, Karla Arellano took to social media in a frantic and heartfelt search for her. She tweeted that she had begun to have unsettling feelings about the 37-year-old medical student after a conversation with him in November revealed that he and Arellano had fallen out, claiming that she had headed back to Mexico after discovering that he could not provide the life she wanted. This raised red flags as her niece claimed “she would never just disappear like that ever and less without warning”
After Ms.Arellano’s nieces post started gaining more traction online, Peruvian authorities launched an investigation into the missing Mexican woman, and on November 10 the horrific discovery of a severed finger with a silver ring still attached, confirmed the worst for Arellano’s family. Sadly, the fingertips had been removed in an attempt to conceal identity, but the family recognized the ring as Arellano’s, confirming that the finger belonged to their missing family member.
Over the next few days, more body parts began washing up on the shores of Huacho, including a faceless head, an arm, and a torso with the organs removed. On November 17, an arrest warrant was issued for Villafuerte, and he was picked up as the primary suspect and arrested on charges of human organs trafficking. In the days to follow, things would only get worse as Villafuerte had allegedly been posting videos on Tik Tok shortly after Arellano’s disappearance, showing him dissecting human organs, including a pancreas, and a brain. (El Popular)
After searching the home of the suspect, authorities found evidence of foul play, finding blood spattering throughout entire apartment and further confirming the horrors Ms.Arellano endured.
“We have no words to express what we are experiencing,” Karla tweeted on Wednesday. “My aunt was a kind, warm person, full of light, intelligent, dedicated, loving and that is how she should be remembered.”