Colombian man confesses to killing of 20 including wife, children

BOGOTA, June 20 (UPI) — A 44-year-old Colombian man confessed to killing at least 20 people including his wife, two children and a woman who disappeared in January.

Police had been searching for 51-year-old Maria Gladys Arango, who disappeared when she was to meet someone in the town of Guarne in Colombia’s Antioquia province, when they traced her whereabouts to a farm owned by Jaime Ivan Martinez Betancurt, El Tiempo reported.

Under police questioning, Martinez Betancurt confessed to killing Arango, his wife, his two children — aged 5 and 7 — and at least 16 other people over the past 10 years. Martinez Betancurt’s motives remain unclear. Most of the victims are believed to be women.

When police searched Martinez Betancurt’s farm, they found jewelry belonging to Arango in a plastic box. Forensic analysts are testing human remains found in the farm. Officials are searching through missing persons reports of others in Guarne and other places where Martinez Betancurt has lived in the past.

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