While patrolling a park in Peru, police officers spot a young man carrying a cooler. Looking inside, they discover the remains of a human. However, he died a few hundred years ago.
Police in Peru have confiscated a mummified human several hundred years old from a former food supplier. According to the authorities, the mummy is said to be between 600 and 800 years old and was found in a cooler bag that the man had used to deliver groceries. Julio César Bermejo, 26, will remain in custody while investigators investigate the case, a government official said.
Bermejo told local media the mummy he dubbed "Juanita" was "like my spiritual friend." "At home she is in my room, she sleeps with me. I take care of her," he said in a video that was widely shared online. His father brought them home 30 years ago and has kept them with him ever since.
According to the Ministry of Culture, the pre-Hispanic remains are a "mummified adult male believed to have come from the eastern area of Puno," a region in the Peruvian Andes about 1,300 kilometers southeast of Lima. The person wrapped in bandages was "not a Juanita, but a Juan" aged at least 45, said an expert from the ministry.
Police found the remains of the mummy in Bermejo's bag on Saturday while patrolling a park in the city of Puno where the suspect was staying with friends. He denied wanting to sell the mummy. He carried them around with him because "my friends wanted to see them". The Culture Ministry said it had confiscated the mummified remains "to protect and preserve this heritage."
Peru is rich in archaeological sites and objects. The country's most visited tourist destination is the famous 15th-century Inca ruined city of Machu Picchu near Cusco.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, March 01, 2023.)