Police have launched a murder investigation after the dismembered remains of missing millionaire Fernando Pérez Algaba, 41, were discovered by a group of children in Argentina over the weekend.
The grisly case came to light after the kids found a red suitcase filled with body parts while playing by a stream in Ingeniero Budge, Buenos Aires on Sunday, Jam Press reported.
The children’s parents notified the Buenos Aires police, who inspected the package, which reportedly contained the victim’s legs and forearm while another whole arm was found in the stream.
On Wednesday, authorities discovered the missing head and torso, El Pais reported.
The body parts were cleanly amputated, suggesting that the dismemberment had been executed by a professional, local media reported.
Meanwhile, a subsequent autopsy revealed that the victim had been shot three times before getting chopped up and stuffed in the suitcase.
Police identified the fingerprints and distinctive tattoos on the body parts as belonging to Algaba, an entrepreneur who had been declared missing since last Tuesday.
The businessman had accumulated millions renting luxury vehicles and selling cryptocurrency, which he frequently advertised to his 900,000 followers on Instagram.
The influencer, who resided in Barcelona, Spain, at the time, had reportedly been staying in Argentina for a week prior to his alleged murder.
Algaba had reportedly rented an apartment, and was supposed to return the keys on July 19, but failed to show up or answer the phone, according to testimony by the property owner.
He was subsequently declared missing until the recent discovery.
Police have arrested one suspect in connection with Algaba’s death. And while the motive behind the alleged murder remains unclear, authorities suspect that the influencer was killed over his numerous debts.
This marked a tragic end for the businessman, known among his friends as Lechuga (lettuce), who started working at the age of 14.
“I started with a bicycle and a box and I started selling sandwiches,” said Pérez Algaba, who reportedly graduated to buying vehicles to repair and resell.
The budding entrepreneur’s dedication allegedly paid off as he owned a large warehouse full of high-end cars, motorcycles and jet skis by the time he was 24.
Algaba, who also had two French bulldogs, subsequently founded a luxury car and jetski rental firm in Miami before picking up and moving to Barcelona earlier this year.
During his final years, Pérez was involved in trading cryptocurrency from an office with over 25 employees in Buenos Aires.
Unfortunately, the moneymaker’s so-called rags-to-riches story was not all that it seemed.
Algaba had racked up “irrecoverable” debts with the Argentine tax agency while his company “Motors Lettuce SRL” began bouncing checks less than a year after it was incorporated in January 2018.
Pérez Algaba had also left a note on his phone claiming that he’d lost a lot of money by investing in crypto, La Nacion reported.
And Algaba’s troubles weren’t limited to the business sphere.
He had reportedly run afoul of the Barra Brava, a violent gang that’s heavily involved in Argentina’s soccer scene, which had reportedly demanded that he pay them a $40,000 loan.
“If something happens to me, everyone is already warned,” he wrote in a message.
Algaba’s brother Rodolfo Pérez Algaba said he wasn’t sure if his deceased sibling was involved with the aforementioned criminal ring, but insists that he was “not a scammer” as many had reportedly claimed, local media reported.
The man claimed that Algaba was simply a car salesman who “did not do well” in Bitcoin.
Although Rodolfo somewhat contradictorily noted that when he was 17, their father died and left an inheritance that Algaba used to start his business, indicating that the influencer didn’t exactly go from favela to fortune as he seemed to suggest.
Rodolfo, who reportedly had not seen the vehicle hawker for three months following an argument, claimed that Algaba “was under psychiatric treatment for an anxiety disorder.”
Rodolfo ultimately hopes that authorities can apprehend his brother’s killer.
“I’ve been here for three days and hardly sleep, thinking, breaking my head, how could this happen,” he declared. “But I’m not going to sit still, I’m not going to do justice with my own hands, but I hope that justice will be done.”
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