Mercy Mary Becerra and John Hartley were caught trying to cross the U.S.- Mexico border with a duffel bag that contained the dead body of a two-year-old child.
On Tuesday, Becerra and Hartley attempted to enter Mexico when they were stopped by Mexican Custom agents. As this happened, Becerra fled the scene while Hartley was detained with a duffel bag.
The agents conducted x-ray on the bag and found a body inside. Upon further examination, they also discovered that the dead child looked around two years old. Afterwards, Mexican authorities were able to bring Becerra into custody.
According to a report from NBC San Diego, it was found that Hartley and Becerra are not the parents of the child in the bag. Investigator believe that the couple knew the girl’s parents prior to her death. San Diego Police Department’s Lt. Ray Valentin said he doesn’t believe that the case is linked to organ trafficking.
An Instagram account of Becerra, which has since been taken down, claimed that the female suspect is a mother of nine. She goes by the name Mercedez Hartley and resides in Whittier, California with John.
Back in August last year, a man named Danny Zamorano posted an appeal on his Facebook page, asking for help to locate Mercedez, as she was last seen with his daughter and granddaughter, who had since gone missing.
“Hoping foul play has not taken place,” he wrote.
After Becerra was found with a dead toddler in a bag, Zamorano remarked, “Evil Plain Evil.”
Becerra and Hartley are now facing charges of child cruelty and first-degree murder. They have been booked into a jail in San Diego after Mexican agents turned them over to U.S. authorities, according to the San Diego Police Department. They are scheduled to appear in court on Friday.