Mexico City probes suspected serial killer who kept women’s bones in rented room

On Thursday, prosecutors sought to downplay the case of a suspected serial killer who kept women’s bones and a saw in his rented room, and apparently targeted women over the course of more than a decade. The city’s head prosecutor said the remains of six women were found in the suspect’s rented room, “not 20 as some unfounded reports have suggested.” The city prosecutor stressed that only three of his crimes occurred during the current administration, which took office in late 2018. He said the others apparently occurred in 2012, 2015 and 2018, meaning the killer went uncaught for at least 12 years. The prosecutor slammed reports that all the crimes took place in 2023 and 2024 — during the term of , who is now running for president — as “absolutely false and unfounded.” The prosecutor claimed the killer was essentially unstoppable because “he showed no signs of violent or aggressive behavior in his daily life.” The prosecutor did not specify the nature of the remains found in a search of the suspect’s rented rooms last week, but local media reported they were skulls. Under Mexican law, the suspect can only be identified by his first name, “Miguel.” Local media reported he worked as a chemist. Investigators also found blood stains, bones, a saw, cellphones and missing women’s ID cards, as well as other “biological material” in the rooms. The prosecutor said five of the ID cards belonged to women who have been located alive, but did not say how many belonged to women who are still missing or among the dead. Last week, the prosecutor said investigators also found “a series of notebooks that may well be narrations of the acts that Miguel carried out against his victims.” The prosecutor rejected criticisms that Mexico City authorities do little to investigate the cases of missing women until their bodies pile up, saying the number of reported women’s killings have declined. But the suspect in this case wasn’t caught until he broke into a neighbor’s apartment to kill his seventh victim last week, was interrupted and left a surviving witness. According to prosecutors, the suspect apparently waited for a woman to briefly leave her apartment last week and then rushed in and sexually abused and strangled her 17-year-old daughter. The mother returned and saw him leaving, but he slashed her in the neck and fled. The mother survived but her daughter did not. Because the suspect lived near the scene of the crime, he was quickly identified and caught. The suspect has been held over for trial on charges of murder and attempted murder, both related to his latest victims. Without proper funding, training or professionalism, prosecutors in Mexico’s capital have routinely failed to stop killers until the bodies pile up so high they are almost unavoidable. In 2021, a in a Mexico City suburb was only caught after years of alleged crimes — 19 bodies were found hacked up and buried at his house — because of the identity of the final dismembered victim: the wife of a police commander. In 2018, a serial killer in Mexico City responsible for the deaths of at least 10 women was caught only after he was found pushing a dismembered body down the street in a baby carriage. He dumped most of the bodies of his victims in vacant lots.