(NEW YORK POST) – A heavily pregnant woman was stabbed to death and burned to ashes in a suspected satanic ritual, police say.
Fernanda Pereyra, 26, was barbarically killed before her body was burned in a fire so hot, she could only be identified by her necklace.
Her ashes were found in an Argentinian wasteland on mile three of Route Six near the town of Rincon de los Sauces. The city has about 10,000 residents and is about 700 miles west of the country’s capital, Buenos Aires.
The killers reportedly used a large amount of gasoline to burn her body and then transported it in a Renault Kangoo van.
When recovered, the van appeared to have been cleaned, but traces of blood and hair from the victim — who was six months pregnant — remained, according to prosecutors.
Police have arrested three people in connection with the killing: her former boyfriend Luciano Hernandez and his two friends Osvaldo Castillo and Diego Marillan.
The suspects have also been linked with drug trafficking and are thought to practice satanism and unidentified African religions.
San La Muerte (Saint Death), the patron saint of drug traffickers, and “Destranca Rua,” an entity linked with the Angolan “kimbanda” religion, featured in the alleged ritual, according to police.
Police also found a sheep in the courtyard of one of their properties.
Police say the victim’s boyfriend slaughtered her because she got pregnant by another man.
But other investigators claim the murder was made as a warning to other citizens against interfering with drug-dealing gangs.
Lawyer Marcelo Henriksen Velasco said: “In my opinion, this is not a domestic violence case, this is a crime linked with drug trafficking.”
Pereyra had suffered other abuse before being murdered.
Another former boyfriend, boxer Ademar Maraguel, once beat her brutally while she was taking money from an ATM.
Maraguel, the father of her children, was arrested but later released.
Two years later, in November 2016, she witnessed a crime in which Franco Orellano, a teenager, was killed by a drug trafficker.
After that incident, she received several death threats, but police do not believe they are linked to her eventual murder.
Judge Pablo Yancarelli has put the three suspects in preventive prison for six months while the investigation continues, though police have warned it could take even longer.