Police seized a “600 to 800 year old” pre-Hispanic mummy this weekend from the cooler bag of a former door-to-door delivery man in Peru. The 26-year-old man was remanded in custody, authorities said on Tuesday.
According to the Ministry of Culture, this “pre-Hispanic cultural property” has been identified as the body of a “mummified adult male individual, presumably originating from the eastern part of Puno”. It is a region of the Peruvian Andes located about 1,300 km from Lima.
“She is in my room, she sleeps with me”
Police discovered the mummy curled up in the delivery man’s bag during a check in a park on Saturday. In a video that has gone viral online, the man explains to a local journalist that the mummy, “affectionately” named Juanita, had been kept for “almost 30 years” in the family home. According to him, she had been picked up by her father from a policeman who owed her money.
“At home, she is in my room, she sleeps with me, added the young suspect. I take care of her, I keep her, she’s like my spiritual girlfriend. Ironically, it turns out that the famous Juanita is actually a man of at least 45 years old.
The young man denied that he wanted to sell the mummy and claimed that he was transporting it to show his friends before donating it to an area museum. The Ministry of Culture “immediately ordered the seizure” of the mummified remains “in order to protect and preserve the heritage”.