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Keys to the murder of Valentina Trespalacios and the arrest of John Poulos
John Poulos, accused of murdering Valentina Trespalacios, denies the charges
What we know about the murder of the 23-year-old DJ that moves Colombia
They arrest a suspect accused of the murder of Valentina Trespalacios
The keys to the murder of Valentina Trespalacios and the arrest of John Poulos5:12
(CNN Spanish) –– On her social networks, Valentina Trespalacios constantly posted photos and stories about two things: her rising success on the electronic music scene at nightclubs and festivals, and her romantic relationship with the American John Poulos. According to his mother, Laura Hidalgo, the DJ would have met him at the end of 2021 on the internet.
“Already on January 21, she had moved in with John Poulos, who is American and had been in a relationship with my daughter for almost a year. He wanted to come live with her to start a family. And the last time I spoke to her , on Saturday, I was with him, in the apartment in the north of the city. I don’t know the address or anything because they just moved. They, that is, Valentina and Mr. John Poulos, met on the internet, I think on Instagram, in December 2021. But she did not want a stable relationship,” Hidalgo said through lawyer Miguel del Río, who represents the family in the case of the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office against the now detained Poulos, the main suspect in the murder of his girlfriend in events that occurred in the early hours of Sunday, January 22.
- The murder of Valentina Trespalacios, a 23-year-old electronic music DJ, shocks Colombia
That day, a recyclerfound the body of a woman inside a suitcase at the bottom of a container of garbage in the southwest of Bogotá. Hours later, the authorities confirmed that the body was that of Valentina Trespalacios. From that moment, her family began to live a real nightmare, very different from what they thought was the beginning of a new life for the DJ with her boyfriend.
Poulos arrived in Bogotá on Friday, January 20, with the intention, according to Valentina’s mother, of making a home with the young woman. To that end, he rented an apartment in the north of the city. Up to there, according to what prosecutor Daniel Gómez Acuña stated at the hearing, the couple arrived that same night that the alleged homicide occurred in circumstances that are still under investigation.
John Poulos was arrested in Panama when he intended to travel to Istanbul, the National Police reported after receiving an alert from Interpol. “We started an investigation process with more than 14 men who are experts in criminal investigation and intelligence. More than 300 hours of videos found in the search were analyzed, as a result of the methodological work that was done in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation,” he said. Brigadier General Carlos Fernando Triana, commander of the Bogotá Police.
- John Poulos, accused of murdering DJ Valentina Trespalacios, rejected the charges of homicide and femicide charged by the Prosecutor’s Office
Forensic examinations by the Institute of Legal Medicine, the official forensic body attached to the Prosecutor’s Office, revealed that the young woman would have died of mechanical asphyxiation and that her body showed signs of having been subjected to force before she died.
“She presented marked congestion and facial edema, as well as signs of multiple blunt force trauma, scattered throughout the forearms and sacral region. In the same way, bruises were observed on the labial mucosa and cheeks”, according to the prosecutor Daniel Gómez when reading parts of the report at the hearing to legalize Poulos’s capture.
“She had a problem with him in December. And it is that she had a DJ event, because she played music in discos. And John was abroad and he told her that he had hired a private investigator to be there. pending her. The problem between them was a problem of jealousy or something like that. He told him if he was crazy or what was wrong with him and that’s why he stopped talking to him. Then he spoke so that he would forgive him and come back, “said the mother of Trespalacios, through your attorney at the hearing.
During the indictment of the Prosecutor’s Office,the suspect did not accept the charges for aggravated femicide and concealment of evidence. His lawyer, Martín Alberto Riascos, said in the courtroom of the 59th criminal court in Bogotá that there were irregularities during his capture in Panama and that he was not allowed to speak with Poulos before beginning the judicial proceeding last Thursday.
Colombia is moved by the murder of DJ Valentina Trespalacios0:48
“My only concern is that we just met in this room, you know, shortly before it all started. So I haven’t had time to ask him any questions. Also, he (the lawyer) doesn’t speak English, but he has someone from his team that does speak English. So I’m talking to you now and he doesn’t understand what I’m saying. That’s a big problem,” Poulos said at the venue where the hearing was held.
In the Fontibón neighborhood, in the southwest of Bogotá, Valentina’s neighbors, relatives and friends have brought flowers and candles along with writings that they have left around the garbage container in which the body of the young DJ was found.
“He had a promising future, a whole life ahead of him. We are devastated,” his brother Andrés Trespalacios told local media this Saturday during the spontaneous demonstrations of sadness, impotence and rejection of the citizenship to this case that has been described by the Prosecutor’s Office as an aggravated femicide.
In Colombia, the Criminal Code contemplates penalties of up to 50 years in prison for this crime. During 2022, 612 femicides were registered in the country, according to the Colombian Femicide Observatory.
Social networks in Colombia were flooded with messages with hashtags such as #NiUnaMas and #JusticiaParaValentina after the cruel murder of the 23-year-old DJ who dreamed of succeeding in the world of electronic music to achieve a better future for herself and her family. Dream that was cut short at dawn on January 22.
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