Authorities in Panama have arrested the Texas boyfriend of a DJ who was found strangled to death and stuffed in a suitcase that was abandoned in a dumpster in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota.
John Poulos, 35, was detained on Tuesday when he tried to board a flight to another country at a Panama airport, according to various Colombian media outlets.
His arrest comes just two days after a homeless man looking for recyclable materials in southern Bogotá discovered a blue suitcase containing the body of 23-year-old Valentina Trespalacios.
Poulos is awaiting extradition to Colombia, where he will be accused of femicide, according to the newspaper El Espectador.
John Poulos (pictured) was detained in Panama on Tuesday moments before boarding a flight. The 35-year-old Texan is wanted in Colombia for the murder of his DJ’s girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, in the Colombian capital Bogotá
John Poulos (left) had plans to live in Colombia full-time and marry his DJ girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios (right)
Valentina Trespalacios (pictured) had been dating her boyfriend John Poulos for eight months.
Trespalacios and Poulos have been dating for eight months after the couple met at an event for which Trespalacios had been booked.
On Friday, he changed his residence and moved into a house that Poulos had rented on the north side of the capital, where they were expected to live together as they were in the early stages of plans to get married.
The couple spent the weekend dining and partying, and planned to visit her mother’s house before it all ended in tragedy.
The autopsy report indicated that Trespalacios was strangled with a rope and that her body had bruises.
His family has asked the Colombian government to carry out an international search for Poulos, whom they believe responsible for the death of Trespalacios.
As of Tuesday night, the Colombian National Police were still searching the house the couple had moved into and also looking for the 2021 Volkswagen Voyager that Poulos had rented after arriving from the United States.
A spokesperson for the Colombian National Police told DailyMail.com that investigators were analyzing surveillance video showing a man dumping his suitcase into a construction dumpster in the Bogotá neighborhood of Los Cámbulos before disappearing.
Authorities have yet to identify the person in the images, which had not been made public as of Tuesday afternoon.
Valentina Trespalacios had DJ opportunities in Chile, Mexico and Brazil, her family said
John Poulos (pictured) fled Sunday on a flight from Colombia to Panama on Sunday. He was detained there on Tuesday and now awaits extradition to Colombia to face charges for the femicide of his girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, who was found dead on Sunday inside a suitcase that was abandoned in a garbage dump in the Colombian capital, Bogotá. .
Colombia’s migration agency confirmed Monday that Poulos had fled the country for Panama on Sunday, just hours after Trespalacios’ body was discovered.
The couple attended the Sahara nightclub in Bogotá and the rideshare app driver who took the couple there told Caracol TV that he felt Trespalacios was in trouble when she showed him a message on the company’s app saying : “Help, I’m in danger.”
The driver, whose name was not released by the outlet, said Trespalacios began making hand gestures and Poulos got to the car and asked her if everything was okay before she answered yes three times.
The couple got into the car and Poulos asked if she spoke English. The man said yes, adding that Poulos had remained silent the entire trip. He said that Poulos and Trespalacios exchanged messages on WhatsApp. He dropped them off at a club at 3:48 am.
On Friday, Valentina Trespalacios sent a video to her mother, Laura Hidalgo, where the couple is seen listening to music in a car driven by Poulos.
During the recording, Trespalacios points the cell phone camera towards the back of the car and tells his mother that he had loaded all his belongings and that he was going to go home on Saturday.
Hidalgo told RCN Noticias that his daughter was going to move into an apartment with Poulos.
An autopsy report showed that Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios was strangled
A homeless man was looking in a garbage container in the Bogotá neighborhood of Los Cámbulos when he found the suitcase with the body of Valentina Trespalacios.
In an interview with Caracol TV, Hidalgo said that Poulos met Trespalacios at a party where she was hired to play and that he planned to move to Colombia and marry her.
“He had good intentions, he met us, his brothers, he intended to get married, make a life here in Colombia with her, invest in Colombia,” Hidalgo said. ‘He supposedly came all the way to Colombia, I don’t know what happened.’
According to a recently deleted LinkedIn page, Poulos was hired as a financial advisor by Vanguard in 2022.
A recently deleted LinkedIn account of John Poulos showed that he had been working for Vanguard as a financial advisor since 2022.
Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios was found dead on Sunday in a suitcase that was left in a garbage dump in Bogotá
The distraught mother described Poulos as someone who “didn’t seem like an aggressive person, he seemed calm, very calm.”
However, she noticed that he had become jealous of Trespalacios.
“He became very obsessed with my daughter and was a bit jealous. He had an argument in December with my daughter and it was out of jealousy because my daughter had many suitors because she was so beautiful.
Trespalacios’ family said Poulos deleted his social media pages and cut all lines of communication with them.
Her uncle, Carlos Trespalacios, told Blu Radio that the couple seemed to be having a good time, as evidenced by the photos she shared of them smiling on her WhatsApp status.
“It was in a suitcase, dismembered with the pajamas in which he used to sleep and we are asking the authorities to expedite this part,” he said.
“She was out partying with her American fiancé on Friday and Saturday, so much so that she shared WhatsApp messages while at the club. There is no doubt that they were (hanging out), so we want him to show up, to show his face, to give us his version, to tell us where he left her, what happened to him?’
Daniel Felipe Trespalacios recalled talking to his sister while she was spending her first night in the apartment.
The 13-year-old boy told Caracol TV that his mother felt that something was not right when his sister sent him a text message: “Mommy, life is not easy, everything has a price.”
“My mom took it as the guy treated her badly or something like that and told her ‘daughter, you don’t need that, you don’t need to give us more, you already give us a lot,'” she said.
Daniel Felipe Trespalacios said the family had nothing but good feelings for Poulos and never expected him to be involved in his sister’s murder.
“He had already gone to Mexico with my sister,” she said. ‘We didn’t mistrust him because it seemed to us that too much had happened for us to mistrust him. If he loved her as they say, he would be the first to be here showing his face to see what is happening with my sister.