Tragic last video of Ecuadorian teen shows her getting into a black car with man one day before she was brutally tortured and murdered along with her two friends
- Denisse Reyna, 19, Nayeli Tapia, 22, and Yuliana Macias, 21, were killed in April
- Their tortured bodies were found in a shallow grave a day after they disappeared
Tragic security camera footage has revealed the final moments of a young woman who was tortured and murdered along with two of her friends in Ecuador last month.
Denisse Reyna, 19, was dumped in a shallow grave alongside her friends Nayeli Tapia, 22 and Yuliana Macias, 21, alongside the Esmeraldas River close to the town of Quininde on April 5.
All three corpses were found with their hands tied and throats slit. They also exhibited signs of torture, as well as several stab wounds.
In the aftermath of the harrowing discovery, the victims’ families asked the public not to speculate that their deaths were linked to widespread drug-related violence in Ecuador.
But CCTV footage released last week appeared to show Denisse climbing into the backseat of a black car driven by an unidentified individual, before the trio of friends were found dead the very next day.
The slain women were identified as (L-R) Yuliana Macias, Denisse Reyna and Nayeli Tapia
The horrifying discovery was made by some fishermen who noticed a dog sniffing the ground alongside a river bank, where they also smelt a foul stench
Local outlet TC Television reported that police believe their deaths came at the hands of a ‘dangerous man linked to drug trafficking’ – though it is unclear whether the unnamed man in the security footage is the police’s prime suspect.
It comes as Ecuador grapples with spiralling gang violence amid a string of drug-related murders.
The discovery of the bodies was made by local fishermen who noticed a dog sniffing the ground alongside a river bank. They alerted officials after also noticing a foul stench.
Police officers were called to the scene where they dug up and uncovered the bodies of the young women from the shallow grave.
Their bodies were each tied up, their throats slit, and their mouths covered, media in Esmeraldas Province reported. Pictured: Denisse Reyna, 19 (left), and Nayeli Tapia, 22 (right)
Denisse was seen climbing into the back of a car driven by an unidentified man hours before she went missing and was murdered
The women’s bodies were uncovered alongside the Esmeraldas River near Quininde, Ecuador
Their bodies were each tied up, their throats slit, and their mouths covered, local news in Esmeraldas Province reported.
Diego Velastegui of the Quininde Police told local media: ‘They were young, had beach clothes, bathing suits, light clothing, shorts.’
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The young women had left their homes in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas – over 50 miles from where they were found – after heading to the beach on April 4.
After not returning or getting in contact, their families reported the three girls missing later that day.
Crime scene investigators say the women were tortured due to the injuries sustained and the fact it appeared they had been tied up and gagged.
The victims’ families have said that they do not know the friends their relatives were supposed to meet.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the women were killed in the rural locality of Malimpia, in Quininde Parish, on April 5.
TC Television reported that Ecuadorian police believe their deaths came after one of the girls, Yuliana, was being pursued by a ‘dangerous man linked to drug trafficking’ but rejected his advances.
Investigators reportedly identified the rental car that allegedly took the young women to the crime scene, but have not yet made any arrests.
In addition to the bodies, police officers found a mobile phone, which they hope will help them solve the case.
Yuliana’s aunt, Paulina Rueda, told local media: ‘All we want is justice, and if the public knows, they should report who is responsible for this horrible murder, because it’s three murders in one day.’
Yuliana was building a promising career as a singer, going by the name of Siria as a solo artist.
Heart-breaking footage has since surfaced on social media of Yuliana singing at a table restaurant with friends before she went missing.
Police officers were called to the scene, where they dug up and uncovered the bodies of the young women from a shallow grave
The victims, aged between 19 and 22, have been named as Nayeli Tapia (right), Denisse Reyna (left), and Yuliana Macias
Local media reported that this was the final video of Yuliana – in which she was singing at a restaurant table with some friends
Victim Nayeli, 22, grew up in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas but lived in Quito. She worked as a model.
Meanwhile, the youngest of the women, Denisse, 19, was studying Agricultural Engineering at the State Technical University of Quevedo.
Grieving Paulina told local media that she and other relatives have been receiving threats for demanding justice.
She said: ‘I will stand until the last consequences, despite the fact that my life has been in danger since yesterday.’
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