Julio Cesar Bermejo, a 26-year-old man from Peru, was recently arrested after an astonishing discovery of an ancient 800-year-old mummy he called his “girlfriend” was found in his possession.
“It sleeps in my bedroom, with me,” Bermejo told a local news outlet in an interview. “There’s my bed, the TV set and next to it, there’s Juanita. I take care of it. It’s like, if you’ll pardon the expression, as if it were my spiritual girlfriend.”
Well, Juanita isn’t the woman he thought she was. In fact, she’s not a woman at all. The mummified corpse is believed to be that of a male approximately 45 years old and 4 feet 11 inches tall and had been passed down through Bermejo’s family for at least 30 years.
Authorities were alerted to the scene where Bermejo was spotted with two friends drinking at a deserted park in Puno, Peru. Upon inspection, they found the mummy wrapped in bandages and curled up in a fetal position inside a red food delivery bag. The Ministry of Culture immediately took possession of the mummy, labeling it as a valuable cultural asset that should be protected and preserved.
Bermejo is now also in custody as authorities investigate potential crimes committed against Peru’s cultural heritage. The way the mummy was found is consistent with pre-Hispanic mummies – a practice common before the Spanish arrived in Peru over 7,000 years ago by multiple cultures such as the Chinchorros who were even the first group known to practice mummification before the Egyptians. Recent archeological discoveries have included finding one 800 to 1,200 year old mummy wrapped in rope with its hands covering its face as well as six children and eight adults all mummified together in Lima last February.
The Ministry of Culture has asked citizens to help protect their country’s precious heritage by reporting any findings or attacks on movable or immovable cultural assets.