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A 72-year-old man was arrested this week following the discovery of human remains under the floorboards of his home. He has confessed to killing as many as 30 people over the last two decades.
The suspect, identified only as “Andrés N,” per Mexican privacy laws, was known colloquially as El Chino (The Chinese). He was arrested inside his home in the municipality of Atizapán de Zaragoza on Saturday for the killing of 34-year-old Reyna González, who vanished on May 13. He is believed to have stabbed her and dismembered her body El Pais reported.
Police said they found shoes, ID cards, women’s handbags, and clothing in the home along with other belongings linked specifically to Rubicela Gallegos and Flor Nínive Vizcaíno, who disappeared in 2016 and 2019, respectively, according to the outlet.
Reports have emerged from various news outlets in Mexico that Andreas N. told authorities he’d eaten some of the remains of his victims and peeled the skin off of González's face. Investigators reportedly also discovered scalps and skulls, and audio recordings of over a dozen murders. The alleged killer also had weapons including machetes and a fretsaw on the property.
After his arrest, Andrés N. reportedly admitted to as many as 30 murders, the news agency Efe reported. Prosecutors in the State of Mexico, which includes Mexico City and much of its suburbs, said Wednesday that they have yet to determine the number of possible victims in the case, the Associated Press reported. According to Efe, he is being held at the Tlalnepantla Penitentiary and Social Reintegration Center.
The gruesome discovery of González’s hacked-up body on a bloody table came during the search for her in Las Lomas de San Miguel, a neighborhood on the western edge of Mexico City. Investigators jackhammered the floor and took apart a concrete structure on the common-access property, then forensics experts sifted through dirt to find evidence. DNA testing will be needed to determine how many victims Andrés N. may have killed over the years, prosecutors said.
Andrés N. rented out rooms in his home to support himself, El Pais reported. Fernando López, his tenant, is a doctor who ran a practice in one of the rooms; he was told by authorities to exit the property as the search began.
Prior to her brutal death, González ran a small cellphone store near the property where her remains were found. When she vanished on Friday, missing person posters went up around the neighborhood. Neighbors said that she knew Andrés N. — who they reportedly said got along well with locals and had been a local association leader.
“The man was always there at her store, always talking to her, always there,” Karla Narváez, a local pharmacy owner, told El Pais.
According to a report in El Universal, González had gone to the alleged killer's home before she disappeared. He was going to accompany her on a trip to the center of Mexico City to purchase merchandise for her cell phone sales business.
Resident Maura Valle told reporters that Andrés N. never had a life partner but did have a sister who no longer lives in the immediate area.
Femicides — defined as the murder of women because of gender — have plagued Mexico for decades. In 2019, approximately 35,000 women were murdered, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The country began collecting data on femicides in 2012.
Activists say that femicides have become so pervasive that police no longer do much to prevent, investigate or prosecute the killings.