GUARNE, Colombia - Forensic anthropologists of the prosecution found Tuesday in the northwest Colombian department of Antioquia the bodies of the wife and two children of a man who police say confessed Sunday to having killed 20 people.
The alleged killer, Jaime Ivan Martinez Betancourt, who was arrested in Hojas Anchas in the municipality of Guarne, told authorities that he killed his wife, his seven-year-old daughter, his five-year-old and 17 other people, the Colombian authorities reported Sunday.
After finding on the farm the remains of Maria Gladys Arango Cuervo, 53, identified as another victim of Martinez, authorities found today three other bodies in the land.
That's where the alleged serial killer buried them in November 2015.
"They were strangled with a nylon rope around their necks and suffocated to death," director of Public Prosecutors and Public Safety Luis Gonzalez told reporters after confirming the DNA matched that of Natalia Garcia Gil and her two minor children.
Three bodies were found at a depth of two meters and were wrapped in canvas sacks, in an area that is still cordoned off and guarded by the authorities for the possible presence of more victims, the excavation staff told Efe.
Authorities also found women's clothes, 12 mobile phones and SIM cards that might belong to the victims.
His neighbors describe him as a "quiet and serious" man, and they never suspected his family would disappear.
"We never thought we were living next to a murderer," said one of his neighbours, who declined to be identified.
The prosecution confirmed that Martinez will have to be sentenced for crimes including torture, murder and disappearance, for which he would receive the maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, he said excavations will continue in other areas of the municipality of Guarne, where the alleged serial killer also resided.