LIMA – The Polish couple that went missing more than a month ago in the Peruvian jungle was murdered during a robbery while boating down a river in Peru’s Ucayali region, police told Efe.
Jaroslaw Frackiewicz, 70, and Celina Mroz, 58, were killed on May 26 or May 27 as they rowed their kayak down the Urubamba River, having come to Peru to enjoy that sport, police in the city of Atalaya said.
When the Polish couple was reported missing that had been seen for the last time in Atalaya on May 25, police launched an investigation that led to the arrest of a 29-year-old Peruvian citizen.
That individual, a member of the Shaninka tribe, confessed during questioning that he had witnessed the crime, though he blamed it on the two people he was with at the time.
The three Peruvians were drinking the traditional alcoholic beverage masato when they saw the Polish couple coming down the river and decided to rob them, the suspect said.
One of the Peruvians then supposedly fired his shotgun and wounded Frackiewicz, after which the three boarded a canoe to catch up with the kayak and finish off the two tourists.
They later dismembered the bodies, weighted down the remains with rocks and sank them into the depths of the river, according to two witnesses who saw the suspected murderers rowing the Polish couple’s kayak.
Some of the couple’s belongings were found at the home of the only suspect under arrest, police said.
The investigation continues as authorities search for the other two suspects, who apparently fled the area.
Frackiewicz and Mroz arrived in Peru on April 28 with the idea of navigating several rivers through the jungle, a sport they had practiced in other countries including Egypt, Canada and India.
Throughout their trip they kept up a blog on the Internet relating the story of their adventure.
Family members in Poland sounded the alarm about their disappearance when the couple failed to return home on June 20 as planned. EFE