LA PAZ – A Bolivian court on Thursday sent the two suspects in the murder of a Polish volunteer to prison to await trial.
At the hearing held in the central city of Cochabamba, Romualdo Manio dos Santos, 21, was sent to the El Abra maximum security prison and Sergio Oscar Flores Rivero, 29, was sent to the San Sebastian prison, EFE learned.
Both the men are Bolivians and Dos Santos has a criminal record, serving two years behind bars for rape, Cochabamba police regional commander Col. Elvin Baptista, told reporters.
Helena Agnieszka Kmiec, 26, was stabbed to death early Tuesday morning in the central Bolivian town of Pacata, near Cochabamba, where she was working as a volunteer for the Bolivia Lucyna Teresa Jdolowska religious congregation at the Edmundo Bojanouski school.
Kmiec came to Bolivia on Jan. 9 to work as a volunteer for six months in Cochabamba.
Before coming to the South American country, she had worked at missions in Romania, Hungary and Zambia, the Polish Consulate in La Paz said.
The Bolivian Attorney General’s Office identified Dos Santos as the alleged killer and Flores as his accomplice.
Baptista said that police had collected evidence at the crime scene and the homes of the suspects implicating them in the killing, including the alleged murder weapon – a knife – along with bloodstained clothing and shoeprints corresponding to the tennis shoes one of the men was wearing.
Some of the evidence showed that theft of property was the original intent of the suspects, and security camera footage showed the two men entering the school and then Kmiec’s house nearby.
Baptista expressed deep regret over the murder and said that the Bolivian Foreign Ministry and the Polish Embassy are coordinating the return of the young woman’s body to her homeland.