Panoramic view of the Mangomarca archaeological site at San Juan de Lurigancho district, east of Lima, on November 27, 2020. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Roy Francis
12:35 PM PT – Wednesday, March 1, 2023
A Peruvian man was caught with two friends at an archeological site in Puno, western Peru, carrying what is believed to be a 600 to 800-year-old mummy in his cooler bag.
According to France24, the police searched 26-year-old Julio Cesar Bermejo, along with his two friends after they were found drunk at the site. While searching his cooler bag, the police found the hundreds-year-old mummy in the fetal position.
Bermejo then went on to tell the police that the mummy was his “spiritual girlfriend” whose name was Juanita.
“At home, she’s in my room, she sleeps with me. I take care of her,” he said.
Authorities examined the mummy and have discovered that the remains are of a 4-foot -11-inches tall 45-year-old man who had died between six to eight hundred years ago.
The 26-year-old said that his dad had given him the mummy which has been in his family for over 30 years. He also said that he kept the mummy in a box in his bedroom near his television. He claims he brought the mummy to the site to show it off to his two friends that were with him.
“It’s not a Juanita, it’s a Juan,” a specialist at the Peru Ministry of Culture said.
Authorities still do not know how the mummy came to be in possession of the family. Bermejo and his two friends who were with him at the archeological site are being detained while authorities have opened an investigation into possible crimes against Peru’s cultural heritage.
Before the Spanish colonized Peru, mummification was a common practice. The body would be mummified, and bound in a fetal position, and then buried in graves above the ground.
The burial process and locations had made it easy for people to pillage, ransack the graves, and steal mummies in the past.