The investigation of the Meraz matriarch and her brood was prompted by a man who on March 6 reported his 10-year-old step-son, Jesus Octavio Martinez Yanez, missing.
The bodies of Jesus Octavio Martinez Yanez (10), Martin Rios (10, disappeared in 2010), Cleotilde Romero, (55, disappeared in 2009) were found at the cult’s designated ritual murder site in the small mining community of Nacozari, in she state of Sonora.
Also arrested were Francisca Magdalena “Nena” Barrón Meraz, Georgina Guadalupe “Coki” Barrón Meraz, Zoyla Ada Santacruz Iriqui, Eduardo Sánchez Urieta, Cipriano Meraz Aguayo.
Investigators located an apparent altar devoted to the female saint of death, a popular object of devotion for murderers involved in the narcotics business, in the Sonora city of Nacozari, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. The police found traces of blood everywhere. The prosecutor’s office spokesman reported that all three victims’ throats were slit, that their wrists had been slit and that their blood had been collected in a vessel and then poured around La Santa’s altar after they bled to death.
Silvia Meraz said her motive for the murders was her belief that the female saint would give her money in exchange for the sacrifices.
The case is reminiscent of two similar Mexican human sacrifice cases: Magdalena “High Priestess of Blood” Solis, put out of business in 1963 and Sara Maria “The Godmother” Aldrete, snagged in 1989.
Other notable Mexican female serial killers are the Gonzalez sisters, captured in 1964, operators of the slaughterhouse known to locals as “The Bordello from Hell,” and Juana Barraza, “The Old Lady Killer,” apprehended in 2006. [by R. St. Estephe]