A Satanic cult is believed to be responsible for the murder of a pregnant Argentinian woman, who was discovered stabbed multiple times and burned in a fire so hot only her necklace helped authorities identify her.
The body of Fernanda Pereyra, 26, who was six months pregnant, was found July 20 at the 6-kilometer mark on Route 6 in Argentina, near the town of Rincon de los Sauces.
Authorities said due to the significance of the number 6, they believe Pereyra was the victim of a Satanist ritual.
The three sixes chosen – kilometer 6 on Route 6, and Pereyra being 6 months pregnant – were believed to be chosen to represent the number 666, found in the Book of Revelation and often used to refer to the devil.
Investigators believe the perpetrators stabbed Pereyra five times and then used a large amount of gasoline to burn her body. The killers then transported the remains in a Renault Kangoo van, Argentinian newspaper Clarin reported.
The body was so badly burned that only a necklace Pereyra was wearing allowed authorities to identify her. The van, when recovered, had been cleaned. But traces of the victim’s blood and hair remained, prosecutors Agustin Garcia and Fabian Flores said.
Pereyra’s ex-boyfriend Luciano Hernandez and two friends, Osvaldo Castillo and Diego Marillan, have been arrested in connection with the murder. They have been placed in preventive prison for six months, the Daily Mail reported.
The three suspects were linked to drug trafficking and are believed to practice Satanism and unidentified African religions, Clarin reported.
Authorities said they found a sheep and Satanic music and images featuring women in flames at one of the suspect’s house. The sheep is believed to have been used in rituals.
Theories on the motive behind Pereyra's murder range from Castillo killing her because she got pregnant by another man or the group murdering Pereyra to warn citizens against interfering with drug trafficking gangs, Clarin reported.
“In my opinion, this is not a domestic violence case, this is a crime linked with drug trafficking," lawyer Marcelo Henriksen Velasco said.
According to reports, Pereyra’s death was only the final incident in a brutal string of episodes the woman endured.
Her former boyfriend, Ademar Maraguel, who is the father of one of her three children, allegedly beat her in 2014 while she was taking money from a cash machine. He was arrested but later released.
Two years later, in November 2016, she witness the death of teenager Franco Orellano at the hands of a drug trafficker. After that incident, she received several death threats.