(PUNO, Peru) — A man stopped for drinking in a park in Peru was found to be in possession of more than just a container of alcohol.
Juan Cesar Bermejo, 26, had a 600 to 800-year-old mummy in a cooler bag, authorities in the South American nation told ABC News.
Bermejo, a food delivery man, was allegedly showing off the mummy to two friends in the park in the southern city of Puno on Saturday, the Peruvian National Police said.
“I take care of her and she takes care of me,” Bermejo allegedly told police to justify the presence of the mummified corpse in his bag.
Police say Bermejo was on the job at the time he was stopped and searched.
According to police, Bermejo said he even named the mummy “Juanita” and called her his “spiritual friend.”
But authorities say the mummy is believed to be that of a male. Its now in possession of Peru’s ministry of culture, authorities said this week.
It’s unclear how the man came to be in possession of the mummy. Mummification was a common practice among several cultures in Peru before the arrival of Spanish conquistadores in the 16th Century. In November 2021, archeologists in Peru discovered a mummy believed to be up to 1,200 years old in a underground tomb.
Bermejo has been charged with illegal possession of historical patrimony and could face up to 5 years in jail.
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