Three Ecuadorian women who were reported missing earlier this month have been discovered with their throats slit in a shallow grave near a local river. Nayeli Tapia, 22, Denisse Reyna, 21, and Yuliana Macias, 19, were discovered on April 7, three days after their disappearance, after allegedly being tortured and buried.
The young women were found tied up and buried in a shallow grave. Their mouths were covered and their throats had been slit.
Police officers were called to the scene after local fishermen, alerted by a curious dog, discovered a foul stench near where the bodies had been dumped on the banks of the Esmeraldas River, Quininde, Ecuador.
Diego Velastegui of the Quininde Police told local press: “They were young, had beach clothes, bathing suits, light clothing, shorts.”
Preliminary investigations suggest that the women were killed in the rural locality of Malimpia, in Quininde Parish, on April 5, before their bodies were moved closer to the river.
Police officers also found a mobile phone, which they hope will help them solve the case.
The three young women had left their homes in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, 52 miles away from where they were found, on April 4.
They had planned to travel to the beach, which was a further two-drive away from where they were approached.
The victims’ families have said that they do not know the friends they were supposed to meet.
According to reports, investigators have identified the rental car that allegedly took the young women to the crime scene.
Yuliana’s aunt, Paulina Rueda, told local media: “All we want is justice, and if the public knows, they should report who is responsible for this horrible femicide, because it’s three femicides in one day.”
Grieving Paulina told local media that she and other relatives have been receiving threats for demanding justice.
She said: “I will stand until the end, despite the fact that my life has been in danger since yesterday.”
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She has pleaded with the public to not link the young women’s deaths to drug trafficking. The victims were laid to rest on April 9.
Nayeli, 22, grew up in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas but lived in Quito. She worked as a model.
Yuliana, 21, was a singing student and performed with the band Las Diablitas. Denisse, 19, was studying Agricultural Engineering at the State Technical University of Quevedo.
The motivation behind the killings has not yet been established.
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