Python Hunters Find Missing Woman Deep in the Florida Everglades

Darlene Marybell Peck, 75, was reported missing from her home Ocala County, Florida—more than 270 miles from the place where a group of python hunters would later find her.

On Tuesday, March 21, at approximately 1 p.m., 75-year-old Darlene Marybell Peck left her home in Umatilla, Florida for a trip to the nearby city of Ocala. When she failed to return by midnight, her husband reported her missing to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and a Silver Alert was issued.

Less than 24 hours later, python hunters located Peck in a portion of Everglades National Park that spans the far southwestern corner of Miami-Dade County.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Peck—who suffers from dementia—left her home in a grey Nissan Rogue. At 7 a.m. the following morning, authorities spotted her vehicle in the Coral Gables area near Miami. Shortly after her vehicle was recovered, the sheriff’s office issued a press release requesting information from anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts.

Thankfully, the missing woman was soon found. There are few details about the circumstances that led to Peck’s discovery by the South Florida python hunters, but deputies said she was in good health when they found her and has since been reunited with her family in Umatila.

The south Florida Everglades is the epicenter of the Sunshine State’s invasive Burmese python invasion. Despite sustained efforts by python hunters to put a dent in their numbers, the ecologically-destructive snakes continue to multiply as their populations slowly spread into more northerly parts of Florida.

Blogger Mom Solves 27-Year-Old Case of Boy Killed by Masked Kidnapper

Jacob Wetterling was 11 when he went missing near his home in Minnesota, US, in October 1989. He was never found until Joy Baker started a blog and began investigating the case decades later

A blogger turned detective has revealed how she solved the 27-year-old cold case of a 11-year-old boy who was kidnapped and killed by a masked stranger.

Jacob Wetterling, along with his best friend and younger brother, went for a bike ride on the evening of October 22, 1989, to a video store which was just a mile away from their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, US.

But on the way home Jacob was suddenly abducted by a masked stranger and never seen again – despite police arriving to the scene in less than six minutes.

The case captivated Minnesota as the local community rallied round to try and help parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, find their son.

But despite extensive searches and witness interviews the case remained open with police unable to find Jacob’s killer – until mum-of-two Joy Baker started to investigate.

The 56-year-old marketing consultant, from New London, Minnesota, remembered the case vividly as it shocked the community.

She told The Sun: “Everyone was shocked and horrified and everyone wanted to help… it is so hard to describe what our state was like at that time. Everything changed after Jacob.”

The amateur blogger drove out to St Joseph, the home of the abduction, on October 23, 2010 and sat in her car wondering where Jacob disappeared to.

She came back home and wrote a piece titled “Where are you Jacob” after all the memories of the case came flooding back to her.

Joy ended her blog post writing: “The truth is, I still hope for a happy ending to this story, as impossible as that may seem. Maybe if I pray hard enough, if I look hard enough, if I think about it long enough… maybe, just maybe…”

Little did Joy know she would spend nearly 13 years of her life trying to finding information on the whereabouts of Jacob.

She said: “I went bananas, took a deep dive and became obsessed. I believed in the power of blogging and the internet and interacting with people.”

Joy looked at old newspaper reports, archived police files, credible leads, and any evidence which had been submitted to officers in a bid to find the killer.

She would interact with other bloggers and exchange different theories and ideas.

However, she made a breakthrough when she met Jared Scheierl, a boy who had been abducted just ten miles away from Jacob’s home in January 1989.

Jared, now in his thirties, spent years wanting answers after he managed to escape the kidnapping and began digging through old newspaper articles.

A local article in 1987 caught their eye which reported a number of sexual attacks on young boys by a masked suspect in 1986-1897.

The attacks were all near Paynesville, which is thirty minutes away from where Jacob lived. It prompted Joy to track down victims thanks to Jared.

She revealed: “All these young kids now grown into young men were suddenly willing to talk, they wanted answers.”

The pair mapped all the incidents into the “Paynesville Assault Cluster” and the story went viral across social media and national television stations.

Dozens of tip-offs were given to police and Joy’s blog was paused as officers investigated the new evidence.

Daniel James Heinrich, 59, was named as a person of interest in October 2015 after DNA testing from the attack linked him to the case.

In September 2016, Heinrich confessed to the abduction, sexual assault and killing of Jacob after striking a plea not to be charged with his murder.

As part his plea, he revealed the location of Jacob’s remains which were found in a field in Paynesville – not far from his other heinous attacks.

He admitted federal child pornography charge but did not face charges in the killing.

Jacob’s mum, Patty Wetterling, told the court: “I want to say to Jacob, I am so sorry.

“It’s incredibly painful to know his last days, last hours, last minutes. Our hearts are hurting. For us, Jacob was alive until we found him.”

Joy had mixed emotions after helping to find Jacob’s killer – with her husband even wanting her to quit the search.

She revealed: “I would love to say I felt validated but I just felt guilty, I questioned what I had done and whether I had helped them – I questioned everything.”

“The closer I got to [the family], the harder it all became”.

Original Article

Jane Fonda being Compared to Alex Jones?

Actress Jane Fonda has been compared to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones over resurfaced comments that she made about abortion.

Fonda said “murder” was a way to fight back against the Supreme Court‘s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade during an appearance ABC’s The View in March.

Social-media users called for Fonda to pay a fine, posting that her remarks were directly linked to the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Audrey Hales, 28, opened fire at Covenant School, a private Christian school, on Monday, killing three children and three adults. Police shot Hales dead on site and said officers were still investigating the motive behind the mass shooting.

Monday’s shooting in Nashville was the 13th school shooting since January 1, and the 129th mass shooting in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). While there is no agreed definition, the GVA says a mass shooting is four or more people shot or killed in an incident, excluding the shooter.

Police identified the victims as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old. The adults killed were Cynthia Peak, Mike Hill, both 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, who was the head of Covenant School.

Fonda appeared on The View talk show alongside her Grace and Frankie co-star Lily Tomlin. She was asked about the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to overturn the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade legislationThis had protected a pregnant woman’s right to abortion.

Fonda told the panel: “We have experienced many decades now of having agency over our body of being able to determine when and how many children we have… We know what that’s done for our lives. We’re not going back. I don’t care what the laws are. We’re not going back to this.”

Fonda was also asked what other alternatives there were to protesting the ruling in the streets. The resurfaced video of her appearance on The View was published to Twitter and has had more than 20 million views.

“Well, I’ve thought of murder,” Fonda told co-host Joy Behar, who said that it was a joke.

But, since the clip resurfaced, social-media users have posted that Fonda should be held responsible for the Nashville shooting.

“Jane Fonda has blood on her hands for the terror in Nashville. Her rhetoric are pushing a narrative that it’s okay to murder those you disagree with,” tweeted political YouTuber MAGS.

Social-media strategist Chuck Callesto added: “FLASHBACK: Jane Fonda suggests people should ‘MURDER’ pro life Christians.. WORDS HAVE CONSEQUENCES..”

And 2020 GOP senate nominee Lauren Witzke wrote: “Jane Fonda and The View supported the idea of murdering Christian Pro-Lifers this month. They giggled like the wretched hyenas they are. Now that they have blood on their hands, do you think we will hear apologies?”

However, some people called for Fonda to pay damages for her comments and compared her to Infowars host Jones.

The conspiracy theorist was found to have defamed families of the victims of 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. A court ordered him to pay more than $1 billion in damages to the 15 plaintiffs.

While Jones did not incite violence with his comments, he was sued by the families after he spouted conspiracy theories on Infowars that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. Jones also said that the grieving parents were actors paid by the gun-control movement.

“If Alex Jones was guilty of $1B – then Fonda is at least $5B. Equality,” wrote one person on Reddit.

But another pointed out: “I mean, she didn’t ‘encourage women to murder pro-life christians.’ Nothing about Christianity was mentioned and she didn’t specifically call out women to go do anything. She was just saying she will not listen if laws were to take away abortion rights and when asked if she had any other suggestion, she said the word ‘murder.'”

Other people on the Reddit thread also questioned whether a tangible link between Fonda’s comments and the Nashville shooting could be made.

“Should Jane have said what she said? No of course not. It was hateful, careless, divisive and inflammatory. But Jane Fonda is not responsible for this woman doing what she did. That woman had a choice—Fonda did not personally force her, coerce her or brainwash her into killing those people,” one person wrote.

“And even if this woman comes out and screams from the roof tops she did it because Jane Fonda told her to—that does not mean the woman should have obeyed. The crime lies in this woman’s actions not what other people say.”

Original Article

Ivanka Trump Breaks Social Media Silence

Ivanka Trump broke her social media silence Monday to wish her youngest son a happy birthday.

It was her first post since her father announced that he was expecting to be arrested in the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into a hush money payment allegedly made to former adult actress star Stormy Daniels, who says she and Trump had an affair. On Instagram, Ivanka wished her son Theo a happy seventh birthday.

“Happy 7th Birthday to our sweet Theo! You bring so much joy and love into our lives every day with your kind, positive, and energetic spirit. I love you to the moon and back again!” she captioned a carousel of photos featuring her youngest child and family. “May this year bring you laughter, love, adventure and many more trips to the skate park!”

Ivanka has three children with husband Jared Kushner: Arabella, Joseph and Theo.

Her previous post on Instagram showed her praying at Israel’s Western Wall on March 17, a day before Donald Trump said that his arrest was imminent.


Despite the former president’s prediction and his call for his supporters to protest his arrest, no charges have been brought so far in the case overseen by DA Alvin Bragg. The grand jury reconvened Monday and could vote to indict the senior Trump as early as this week. But the timing remains unknown, especially because of Manhattan’s unpredictable grand jury process.

Investigators have been probing the matter for nearly five years, trying to determine if Donald Trump authorized the payment through his then-lawyer Michael Cohen during his 2016 presidential campaign. If charged, he would be the first former president to be indicted in U.S. history.

With 7.5 million followers, Ivanka frequently posts photos of herself and her children on Instagram. Last month, she posted six times, including a birthday montage for her late mother, Ivana Trump, and two posts on Valentine’s Day.

On Monday, Ivanka also made several Instagram Stories, sharing other photos of her son.

The eldest Trump daughter was a senior adviser in her father’s administration, but she has said she has no plans to be involved in her father’s third bid for the White House. Asked about his 2024 presidential campaign, Ivanka said, “I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.”

Ivanka has also sought to separate herself from her father and brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, in a separate legal case: a lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. The civil fraud case involves the Trump Organization, and Ivanka’s attorney filed a letter asking the judge to differentiate her from the other Trumps in terms of her role in the company.

In a move that legal experts saw as shifting the blame onto her brothers, her lawyer argued, “Other individuals were responsible for those tasks.” He was referring to creating, preparing, reviewing or certifying her father’s financial statements.

Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton Song Banned as “Lyrics Could be Deemed Controversial”

A song by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton has been banned from the setlist of an elementary school summer concert, causing a bit of an uproar.

Now, some of Miley Cyrus’ songs are known to be more than a little bit raunchy and risqué, particularly during the ‘Bangerz’ period of her career.

But Dolly?

Dolly Parton is universally loved and universally accepted, she doesn’t go in for controversial lyrics really, just solid country classics and wholesome themes.

The song in particular isn’t one of Miley’s tunes that has adult themes in it, either.

In fact, it’s a song about tolerance, respecting everyone’s individuality, and getting along with each other.

However, you’ll probably soon start to see why some people have taken against it.

Mum Sarah Schindler raised the issue with a local TV channel after her daughter Audrey came home from Hayer Elementary in Waukesha, Wisconsin buzzing because she was going to sing the song at the school concert.

However, last Wednesday the first-grade student came home disappointed because her song had been banned.

Her mum wasted no time getting in touch with the teacher and school district superintendent to ask what was going on.

Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy

It later turned out that the decision was made because the lyrics of the song could have been controversial.

It’s called ‘Rainbowland’, and features lyrics such as ‘wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise, where we’re free to be exactly who we are’ and ‘let’s all dig down deep inside, brush the judgment and fear aside.’

Are you starting to see where we’re going here?

The 2017 song from Cyrus’ album Younger Now is thought by some to be a statement of allyship to the LGBTQ+ community, which – you’d have to imagine – is why some aren’t pleased with it.

Parton has said in the past that the song is supposed to give hope to people during their darker moments.

“It’s really about if we could love one another a little better or be a little kinder, be a little sweeter, we could live in rainbow land,” Parton told Taste of Country.

“It’s really just about dreaming and hoping that we could all do better. It’s a good song for the times right now.”

Audrey’s teacher Ms Tempel later took up the baton, tweeting the lyrics to the song, writing: “My first graders were so excited to sing Rainbowland for our spring concert but it has been vetoed by our administration. When will it end?”

Superintendent Jim Serbet later said that the song was dropped because of a specific policy.

He said: “It was determined that ‘Rainbowland’ could be perceived as controversial.”

Upon further questioning, he said the district had concerns about whether it was ‘appropriate for the age and maturity level of students’ as well as the ‘social or personal impacts’ on them.

Also on the summer concert list were songs like Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ and Kermit the Frog’s ‘The Rainbow Connection’.

That last one – also about rainbows, but obviously sung by a famous frog – stayed in.

Original Article

GOP Staffer Victim of ‘Brutal’ Stabbing in Washington DC

A staffer for Sen. Rand Paul was brutally stabbed in Northeast over the weekend, according to a statement released by the elected official. 

The Kentucky lawmaker called it a “brutal” assault.

The Senator issued a statement Monday regarding the incident. 

“This past weekend a member of my staff was brutally attacked in broad daylight in Washington, D.C.,” Paul, R-Ky,. said in a statement to ABC News on Monday. “I ask you to join [wife] Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions.”

Paul’s office has not publicly identified the staffer.

According to a police report obtained by ABC News, officers first responded Saturday around 5:15 p.m. to a call about a stabbing on the 1300 block of H Street Northeast in the district.

The victim was treated on the scene for “stab wounds” and was seen by a witness “bleeding from the head,” the report states.

According to one of two witnesses cited in the report, the suspect had “popped out of the corner” and stabbed the Paul staffer multiple times as he and the witness were walking. The victim “was able to grab [the suspect’s] arms” and the witness with him tackled the suspect, “leading to a struggle between the parties,” the report states. Then, the victim and the witness ran as the suspect fled.

The first witness shouted to another about what was happening and that person called the authorities while they aided the victim, according to the report.

On Monday, D.C. police said that 42-year-old Glynn Neal, a D.C. resident, was arrested later on Saturday and had been charged with assault with intent to kill, wielding a knife, in connection with the attack. Court filings state that he has told officers he heard a voice was going to get him before the attack occurred.

Paul’s staffer was hospitalized “for treatment of life-threatening injuries,” police said, but further information about his condition was not available.

“We are relieved to hear the suspect has been arrested. At this time we would ask for privacy so everyone can focus on healing and recovery,” Paul said in his statement.

Neal appeared in court on Monday and remains held without bond.

“This past weekend a member of my staff was brutally attacked in broad daylight in Washington, D.C. I ask you to join Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions,” the statement reads. “We are relieved to hear the suspect has been arrested. At this time we would ask for privacy, so everyone can focus on healing and recovery.”

The Metropolitan Police Department says its officers responded to the 1300 block of H Street just before 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night for the report of a stabbing.

The victim, who Senator Paul says works for him, was found suffering from stab wounds in the area. He was taken to the hospital in life-threatening condition. 

Glynn Neal, 42, was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill in connection to the attack. 

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Neal was released from prison on Friday – the day before the stabbing. 

He spent nearly 12 Years behind bars for compelling two North Carolina women to engage in prostitution through the use of threats.

Apartment Floor Collapses Near University Injuring a Dozen

A dozen people were injured when the second floor of an apartment building collapsed late Saturday in west central Pennsylvania, just over a mile from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, state police said.

Injuries “ranged from minor to serious” at the Elm by Traverse Commons apartment complex in White Township, in Indiana County, about 66 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, said Trooper First Class Clifford Greenfield, a spokesman for the state police. The complex advertises its apartments as off-campus housing for students of the nearby university; it was not yet known whether any of the injured were students.

The 12 injured people were treated at the scene, and seven were taken to a hospital for further treatment, Greenfield said. Their conditions were not immediately available Sunday afternoon.

Police believe least one other injured person went to the hospital in a private car, Greenfield said.

When the first trooper arrived just before midnight, he was approached by several “frantic people” who told him “that the floor had collapsed in the apartment and multiple casualties were identified,” said Greenfield, who added that the initial caller reported someone lying in the road near Medlar and Copper Beech drives.

Greenfield said that “several people” were in the apartment at the time of the floor collapse but that police do not know exactly how many.

Some escaped through a broken window on the first floor, which caused “many injuries,” Greenfield said. Members of the Indiana Fire Association searched the building and did not find anyone else trapped inside, Greenfield said.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa., on Oct. 21, 2020.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa., on Oct. 21, 2020.Gene J. Puskar / AP file

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation, said Myles Snyder, the communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police.

The apartment management company secured the property to prevent re-entry, Greenfield said. Police did not provide an exact address of where the collapse occurred.

Traverse Commons representatives did not respond to a call or an email seeking comment Sunday afternoon.

University spokesperson Michelle Fryling said officials will offer help, including short-term housing, to affected students and their families if necessary, adding that officials still do not know how many people involved in the incident are IUP students.

Greenfield said it is unclear how many of those involved were university students or visiting guests during what has been dubbed “IUPatty’s weekend,” a delayed St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

The off-campus festivities, which have taken place in Indiana for years, have sometimes caused problems. In 2014, police responded to dozens of calls amid crowded borough streets, one of which was packed with hundreds of people, some of whom got into brawls that were recorded and posted online. In 2017, two off-campus shootings were reported.

Death of Former Obama Official was NOT Caused by Weather Turbulence

Investigators say the violent movements that killed a Former White House Official aboard a private jet this month were multiple times the pull of gravity and were not caused by the weather.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the aircraft experienced a force about four times the pull of gravity when the pilots disabled a setting that is used to stabilize the aircraft. The pilots were in the process of resolving warning messages from the aircraft.

“As soon as the switch position was moved, the airplane abruptly pitched up,” the preliminary report said.

One of the pilots “immediately with both hands regained control of the airplane in what he estimated to be a few seconds after the airplane’s pitch oscillated up and down.”

The plane pitched up and down like a roller coaster several times: First 3.8Gs up, then 2.3Gs downward, followed by 4.2Gs upward.

The Bombardier CL30 jet departed from Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene, New Hampshire, on March 3 and was headed to Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia when it was diverted to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks after “encountering severe turbulence,” the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in a statement to CNN at the time.

The pilots had received multiple alerts from the aircraft prior to the incident, and even aborted their first takeoff attempt because of an issue with the aircraft. They discovered a protective cover used when the aircraft is parked was left on the plane, the report said.

After restarting the plane, they received additional alerts from the aircraft but proceeded with the takeoff and flight because the alerts did not meet the threshold for grounding.

At the time of the incident, the pilots were attempting to resolve the issues by using a checklist for a failure of the primary stabilizer trim, the report said.

Dana Hyde served for eight years in the Obama administration and was previously an official at the State Department, according to a biography from Columbia World Projects at Columbia University. She’s a former State Department employee, according to her LinkedIn page. Hyde was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center, in Hartford, Connecticut.

Original Article

Prince Harry and Elton John Make Shocking Court Appearance

Prince Harry is one of those suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail, over alleged phone-tapping and other breaches of privacy.

The duke was seen at the High Court on Monday morning, while singer Sir Elton John, who is also involved in the legal proceedings, arrived at lunchtime.

The publisher has described the allegations as “preposterous smears”.

Elton John arrives at the High Court in London, Britain March 27, 2023.

The duke, Sir Elton and actresses Sadie Frost and Liz Hurley are among the individuals who allege unlawful information gathering by the company, which also publishes the Mail on Sunday.

A four-day preliminary High Court hearing in London, starting on Monday, will consider legal arguments and a judge will decide whether the case will go any further. Associated Newspapers (ANL) is bidding to end the claims without trial.

Prince Harry’s appearance will be seen by many as a sign of his strength of feeling over his privacy and determination regarding the legal action.

Others taking part in the legal action include Sir Elton’s husband David Furnish, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack in 1993.

The group launched the legal action last year after becoming aware of “compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy” by ANL, according to a statement by law firm Hamlins released in October 2022.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, arrives at the High Court in London, Britain March 27, 2023

Court proceedings began with a bid by ANL’s lawyers to have certain reporting restrictions imposed in the case.

ANL’s lawyer Adrian Beltrami said in written submissions that the legal actions have been brought too late and are “stale”.

David Sherborne, the lawyer for the group of prominent individuals, argued that, in some cases, the “unlawful acts” continued “until 2018”.

Sherborne successfully represented Coleen Rooney at last year’s so-called Wagatha Christie trial.

The Duke of Sussex sat towards the back of the courtroom, occasionally taking notes in a small black notebook as legal arguments were made.

Frost sat two seats away from him.

When the legal action was announced in October, law firm Hamlins, which is representing Prince Harry and Frost, alleged that ANL’s activity included:

  • “The hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes
  • “The commissioning of individuals to surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls whilst they were taking place
  • “The payment of police officials, with corrupt links to private investigators, for inside, sensitive information
  • “The impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres by deception
  • “The accessing of bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation”

In a statement released at the time, the newspaper group said: “We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old.

“These unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims – based on no credible evidence – appear to be simply a fishing expedition by claimants and their lawyers, some of whom have already pursued cases elsewhere.”

The duke’s appearance on Monday is believed to be the first time he has been back in the UK since the late Queen’s funeral in September.

His surprise return comes nearly three months after he publicised his troubled relationship with his father the King and brother the Prince of Wales in his controversial autobiography Spare.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also released a Netflix documentary in December, titled Harry & Meghan.

The King was due to be away on Monday on the first official state visit of his reign, but the trip to France was cancelled due to rioting over pension reforms.

He is due to leave for a state visit to Germany on Wednesday morning. Buckingham Palace said he was not in Windsor or London on Monday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to vacate their UK home, Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate, in a move sanctioned by the King.

The duke is also taking legal action against the Home Office over security arrangements when he is in the UK, raising questions about his own security provisions during this visit.

Original Article

Beauty Queen Accused of Using Indigenous Women as Slaves

A former Mexican beauty queen was arrested for allegedly exploiting and abusing Indigenous women from the mountains of Puebla for at least the past 15 years. Lili Bustillos, who represented Puebla in the Señorita Mexico pageant in 1991, allegedly forced the women to work as servants without pay.

“I still worked under her screams and threats, all because I needed to, but she never paid me a penny, she does have rights, we don’t, we live in fear of her and her family, I need her to pay for treating me like a slave,” said the testimony of one woman. She also claimed that her mother was also forced to work for Bustillos, and that Bustillos burned her once with hot oil.

A non-profit published the series of accusations and anonymous testimonies from women this month, which alleged that for years, Bustillos lured the women, mostly from the rural Zacapoaxtla municipality of Puebla’s Sierra Norte, with “the promise of a salary and in some cases, schooling.” But when the women arrived, “through physical and psychological violence, she enslaved them without paying them and retaining them as servants.”

Bustillos alleged crimes came to light after a victim named “Teresa” was rescued by a neighbor in 2022.

“Teresa had been held as a slave for several years and was beaten with a hammer and cut with a hacksaw by Lili [Bustillos], in addition to having multiple injuries from other weapons. The day she was rescued she had not eaten for almost two weeks and was in very poor physical condition,” the group alleged.

Teresa filed a formal complaint with the police in April 2022 soon after her escape, but Bustillos wasn’t arrested until March 9. Bustillos was quickly released on a technicality a few days later, then rearrested on Saturday.

The non-profit that published the accusations, la Red de Formadoras Kualinemilis A.C., also made public the testimony of a woman who allegedly faced similar abuse 15 years ago.

“She took me to her house, promising work, I was in great need and that’s why I went, she left me locked up when she went on vacation and I couldn’t eat her food, she never paid me, I tried to commit suicide twice with the products she used to clean the bathroom,” the victim said about her experience in the late 2000s.

The organization suggested that there were many other additional victims who hadn’t come forward, and that the crimes may have dated back even further.

Another woman claimed that her mother experienced similar abuse five years ago, “She is willing to report it, but she wants protection because the woman [Lili Bustillos] threatened to kill her and harm my family.”

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