Wednesday, March 1, 2023 – Authorities in Peru have seized a mummified human between 600 and 800 years old from a man who claimed it was his ‘girlfriend’.
Julio Cesar Bermejo, 26, a former food delivery man, claimed to have had the mummy at his home for three decades and even slept with it in his bed.
‘At home, she’s in my room, she sleeps with me. I take care of her,’ he said in a video that went viral on social media.
Bermejo was arrested at the Mantaro viewpoint in the Peruvian city of Puno. He will remain in detention while investigators look into the case, a government official told AFP on Tuesday.
Local resident Jhan commented: ‘In which virtual store do you buy these things?’, while Gabriela joked: ‘My mummy order hasn’t arrived, what should I do next?’
Another, Juan Carlos, said: ‘So he can’t take his mummy out for a walk anymore?’
Bermejo told local media that the mummy – who he called ‘Juanita’ and referred to as ‘she’ – was ‘like my spiritual girlfriend’ even though the remains once belonged to a man, according to authorities.
According to the former delivery man, his father brought the mummy home 30 or 40 years ago, after plans to donate it to a museum failed. His family bought it for 2,000 Peruvian sol (£434), he said – at the time ‘a lot of money’.
According to Peru’s Ministry of Culture, the pre-Hispanic relic was a ‘mummified adult male individual’.
It was ‘presumably from the eastern area of Puno’, a region in the Peruvian Andes some 1,300 kilometers (more than 800 miles) southeast of Lima.
The remains appear to be well-preserved, suggesting it dates from an era with efficient embalming practices.