The contents of the bags we carry around are unique to us. Sure, most people have their wallets and keys, but inside any purse, satchel, backpack, or tote bag, you'll find a different array of items, some useful, some not.
Some, though, lean toward the disturbing. When one man was using a bag he'd gotten for his work to transport something rather macabre, he was found out, revealing his strange secret to the whole world.
A Chance Capture
A man in Peru was caught carrying an extremely strange item earlier this year, one that shocked the world even further when he explained why exactly he had it.
Twenty-six-year-old Julio Cesar Bermejo was drinking in a park with a few friends one afternoon when he was approached by police. With him, he had a large cooler bag branded with the logo for Pedidos Ya, a takeout delivery company that's popular in South America. What he was carrying inside was far from anything edible, though, and something he hopefully wasn't delivering to another person's home.
The Strangest Package
Inside was an up to 800-year-old mummified corpse. The body was stuck in the fetal position, its skin now leathered and hard, bones clearly visible where flesh had rotted or crumbled away over time.
Photos of the find were released by the Directorate of Culture in the southeastern city of Puno, showing not only the skeleton, but the investigators and journalists who crowded around it when it was first revealed.
Speaking of journalists, local media company Noticias Sin Filtro Puno TV published an interview with Bermejo about why he had the body at all.
Quite The Relationship
He claims that he's been taking care of the corpse for quite some time. He even gave it a name. "It sleeps in my bedroom, with me. There's my bed, the TV set and next to it, there’s Juanita. I take care of it. It’s like, if you’ll pardon the expression, as if it were my spiritual girlfriend."
Later testing revealed that his 'girlfriend' was not actually a girl at all, for this skeleton was that of "an adult mummified male individual," with a “relative chronology of 600 to 800 years old,” said the directorate. This man appears to have passed away when he was 45 years old.
The body was under the possession of Bermejo's family before this incident, his father having brought it home three decades prior, but it's now become the property of the state due to national heritage laws. He had reportedly brought Juanita outside so he could show his friends. Bermejo and the two friends who were with him in the park were all detained.
In the wake of this find, the Peruvian Culture Ministry has asked people to help "in the defense and protection of our precious heritage, communicating to us any finding or attack on movable or immovable cultural heritage." They don't want any more missing corpses to become family heirlooms.