Mexico City, March 2 (IANS/EFE) An 80-year-old woman has joined her daughter and granddaughter in jail facing charges that they murdered a man to collect $2.4 million in insurance money, the Mexico City district attorney’s office said.
All three women are accused in the death of 20-year-old Ruben Romero Reverte who was found dead last August.
The arrest of the grandmother, whose name was not released, came nearly two months after Leslie Arellanes, 20, and Roxana Arredon, 46, were taken into custody.
The two younger women hoped to collect on five life insurance policies Romero had taken out with Arellanes’s grandmother as the beneficiary, prosecutors say.
When Arellanes went to the capital coroner’s office last August to identify Romero’s body, she identified herself as the victim’s best friend and asked them to release the body to her for burial.
‘She told us he (Romero) had no family, that he was a single person and she lodged him in her home,’ prosecutor Joel Diaz Escobar said in January at the time of the initial arrests in the case.
Police, however, managed to locate Romero’s father and brother, who said they hadn’t heard from him in 18 months and that he was in a romantic relationship with Leslie Arellanes.
Romero spent part of that 18 months in a Mexico City jail, where he landed after being arrested while trying to remove letters from a residence, apparently at the behest of Roxana Arredon.
Once out of jail, he renewed contact with Arellanes and Arredon and began purchasing life insurance policies, the last of which was issued Aug 5, weeks before he was found beaten to death in the capital.
Prosecutors arrested the two women after they tried to collect on Romero’s life insurance.
‘The total amount of the insurance policies was 16 million pesos ($1.2 million), but it doubled if the death was violent,’ prosecutor Diaz said.
A search of the women’s home turned up some of Romero’s clothing with blood on it, while handwriting analysis determined that a note found on the victim’s body was actually written by Leslie Arellanes.
The note, which was accompanied by a chocolate bar, read: ‘Gabriel, let this be our reconciliation forever, kisses, I love you.’
The prosecutor said Leslie and her mother tried to make it appear that Romero was gay and that his killing had been a crime of passion.
Roxana Arredon’s husband, who was also well-insured, was fatally run over last March, Diaz said.