A woman has been found dead after flying 3,000 miles to meet her online date.
Internet dating has become one of the most popular ways to meet a partner in recent years.
In 2022 alone, 39 per cent of straight relationships and 60 per cent of same-sex relationships began online.
While many of these relationships have happy endings, some can end in tragedy.
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That was particularly true in the recent case of Blanca Arellano, 51, from Mexico, who flew 3,000 miles to meet her date in his home nation of Peru.
The pair had been talking for several months after she met Juan Pablo Jesús Villafuerte, 37, on a gaming app.
Feeling positive about their relationship, she flew out to Lima on October 31 in order to finally meet him in person.
Her last communication with her family came a week later on November 7, when she told her niece, Karla Arellano, that things were ‘progressing well’ and she and Villafuerte were getting along.
However, days passed without any further communication, prompting her niece to take to Twitter in a bid to track her down.
She wrote: “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 in my life.
“My aunt Blanca Olivia Arellano Gutiérrez disappeared on Monday, November 07 in Peru.
“We fear for her life.”
Desperate for answers, Karal also reached out to Villafuerte, who told her that Arellano had ‘decided to return to Mexico’.
In a follow-up post, she wrote: “They were in Huacho and she left for Lima by her own means to later go to Mexico but that has not happened.”
As per El País, a local fisherman found a faceless head in the port of Huacho – where Arellano had been with Villafuerte – on November 9.
Later, an arm and a torso – without its organs – were also found, as well as a sole finger with a ring on it.
Authorities were able to identify Arellano from the body parts and after her family confirmed the ring was hers.
On November 17, Villafuerte was arrested by Peruvian police officers and named as the ‘chief suspect’ in Arellano’s murder.
However, Villafuerte denies any involvement in the crime.
Investigators are now looking into whether the killing was related to organ harvesting.
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Peru’s general attorney, Zoraida Ávalos, told the local press: “Juan Pablo Villafuerte was arrested on charges of human organs trafficking.”
However, officers do not believe he acted alone.
Following Arellano’s death, her heartbroken niece wrote: “We have no words to express what we are experiencing.
“My aunt was a kind, warm person, full of light, intelligent, dedicated, and loving and that is how she should be remembered.
“We believe in Peruvian laws and we fully trust the authorities to make it happen as they have done an impeccable job so far.
“It’s time to raise your voice and ask for #JusticiaParaBlanca.”
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