Keys to the murder of Valentina Trespalacios and the arrest of John Poulos 5:12
(CNN Spanish) ––
(CNN Spanish) ––
This Thursday marks a week since the hearing for the legalization of the capture began against the American John Poulos, arrested as the main suspect in the murder of Valentina Trespalacios, a renowned Colombian DJ.
This process has had all kinds of drawbacks.
The main one has been for the translation into English of the interventions of the authorities and lawyers involved in the legal proceedings.
Martha Lucía Morales, who had been appointed by the office of the 59th municipal criminal judge of Bogotá to do this job, resigned this Wednesday after Poulos told the magistrate that she was not suitable to assist him, because she often did not understand the translation of some legal terms.
John Poulos, accused of murdering DJ Valentina Trespalacios, rejected the charges of homicide and femicide charged by the Prosecutor's Office
Another person who resigned was Martín Riascos, a lawyer for John Poulos, who said he made the decision after allegedly receiving threats on social media and through phone calls for his work defending the American.
The judge accepted the two resignations and the replacements of Poulos' lawyer and translator were appointed.
Once the hearing resumed, the prosecutor in the case, Daniel Gómez, asked that the suspect remain in prison and be denied the benefit of house arrest for considering him a danger to society due to the cruelty with which the crime was committed.
The prosecutor asked that Poulos be transferred from the bunker of the Prosecutor's Office to a prison.
Gómez said that Poulos must answer for aggravated femicide and concealment of evidence.
Colombian criminal law contemplates penalties of up to 50 years for this type of act.
The murder of Valentina Trespalacios, a 23-year-old electronic music DJ, shocks Colombia
“John Poulos had no appreciation for the human being who gave him love, who went to live with him.
Consequently, he will not have it with other people outside him, becoming a risk to the community, "said prosecutor Daniel Gómez.
Poulos, at the hearing, said that he did not accept the charges brought against him by the Prosecutor's Office.
Testimonials of Santiago Luna and Silvana Núñez
Colombia is moved by the murder of DJ Valentina Trespalacios 0:48
In the middle of the hearing, the testimonies of Silvana Núñez, one of Valentina Trespalacios's best friends, and Santiago Luna, with whom the victim also had a sentimental relationship, were revealed.
It is for this reason that the Prosecutor's Office argues that the murder would have been committed out of jealousy.
In the official statement before the Prosecutor's Office, Luna said that he had seen Valentina two days before Poulos arrived in the country.
"We meet on Wednesday, January 18. She stays with me in my apartment, which is located on 159th street. We also stay in my apartment on Thursday, she accompanies me to my meetings and dinners," Luna told the researchers.
And she added in her testimony: "On Friday, when we were on January 20, she told me that she was going to go for her mess, that she was going to leave everything to her mother and that she was only going to leave with her bags. I I offer to go with her, she tells me not to go with her, that it's not necessary, that a friend is going to pick her up in the car and asks for transportation to her house by cell phone. By message, I spoke with her on Saturday, the 21st January, at 2:20 p.m., I spoke to her on the Instagram social network. There I complained to her about a photograph that she published of a dinner. So I asked her who she was with and she answered that with some friends." .
Silvana Núñez, a friend of Trespalacios, also confirmed to the prosecutor's investigators that the victim had a romantic relationship with Luna while she was dating Poulos.
“The relationship with Santiago began in November 2022. They were fine, they were very much in love.
Valentina did not want to leave him, because he knew that she had a boyfriend.
They saw each other almost every day.
I told her that it was not right to have two relationships, "he assured, while adding:" I think John found out about the affair he had with Santiago and did something to him out of anger.
I think that what happened was that, that John checked his cell phone and saw that.
This testimony and that of Luna were read during the hearing.
Santiago Luna told the Prosecutor's Office that he found out about the death of Trespalacios through the media.
“I was in shock, I couldn't believe it.
I start to see that he had missed calls and messages.
They send me a newspaper article where it did not say her name, it only said that they had found a body of hers in Fontibón ”.
All these probative elements, together with more than 300 hours of follow-up videos of the three days that Poulos remained in Bogotá since January 20, are part of the investigation by the Prosecutor's Office and the Police.
Who was Valentina Trespalacios?
On her social networks, Valentina Trespalacios constantly posted photos and stories about two things: her rising success on the electronic music scene at nightclubs and festivals, and her romantic relationship with the American John Poulos.
According to her mother, Laura Hidalgo, the DJ she would have met him at the end of 2021 online.
"Already on January 20, she had moved in with John Poulos, who is American and had been in a relationship with my daughter for almost a year. He wanted to come live with her to start a family. And the last time I spoke to her on Saturday, I was with him, in the apartment in the north of the city. I don't know the address or anything because they just moved in. They, that is, Valentina and Mr. John Poulos, met on the internet, I think on Instagram, on December 2021. But she did not want a stable relationship," Hidalgo said through lawyer Miguel del Río, who represents the family in the case of the Colombian Prosecutor's Office against the now detained John Poulos, the main suspect in the murder of his girlfriend in events that occurred in the early hours of Sunday, January 22.
Who was Valentina Trespalacios, the DJ victim of a murder in Colombia?
That day, a recycler found the body of a woman in a suitcase at the bottom of a garbage container in the southwest of Bogotá.
Hours later, the authorities confirmed that the body was that of Valentina Trespalacios.
From that moment, her family began to live a real nightmare, very different from what they thought was the beginning of a new life for the DJ with her boyfriend.
Poulos arrived in Bogotá on Friday, January 20, with the intention, according to Valentina's mother, of making a home with her.
To that end, she rented an apartment in the north of the city.
Until then, according to what was stated in the hearing by the prosecutor Daniel Gómez Acuña, the couple arrived that same night where the alleged homicide occurred in circumstances that are still under investigation.
John Poulos was arrested in Panama when he intended to travel to Istanbul, the National Police reported after receiving an alert from Interpol.
Forensic examinations by the Institute of Legal Medicine, the official forensic body attached to the Prosecutor's Office, revealed that the young woman would have died of mechanical asphyxiation and that her body showed signs of having been subjected to force before she died.
“She presented marked congestion and facial edema, as well as signs of multiple blunt force trauma, scattered throughout the forearms and sacral region.
In the same way, bruises were observed on the labial mucosa and cheeks”, according to what prosecutor Daniel Gómez expressed when reading parts of the report at the hearing to legalize Poulos's capture.
"She had a problem with him in December. And it is that she had a DJ event, because she played music in discos. And John was abroad and he told her that he had hired a private investigator to be there. pending her. The problem between them was a problem of jealousy or something like that. He told him if he was crazy or what was wrong with him and that's why he stopped talking to him. Then he spoke so that he would forgive him and come back, "said the mother of Trespalacios, through the lawyer Miguel del Río at the hearing.
In the Fontibón neighborhood, in the southwest of Bogotá, Valentina's neighbors, relatives and friends have brought flowers and candles along with writings that they have left around the garbage container in which the lifeless body of the young DJ was found.
"He had a promising future, a whole life ahead of him. We are devastated," his brother Andrés Trespalacios told local media on Saturday during the spontaneous manifestations of sadness, impotence and rejection of the citizenship in this case.