A mass grave containing the remains of at least 24 people has been unearthed at the home of a former police officer in El Salvador, who authorities reportedly believe may have been part of a gruesome murder ring.
Officials have said the burial site in the northwestern municipality of Chalchuapa may contain more than 40 bodies, most of whom are believed to be female.
Ex-cop Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez, 51, was arrested earlier this month over the killings of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter.
He has confessed to their murders. Chavez was dismissed from the police force in 2010 after being accused of sex crimes.
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Forensics officers who searched his property said they uncovered at least seven pits where bodies had been buried for as long as two years.
The grim discoveries are being investigated as part of a possible murder ring involving officials and which may have operated for a decade. At least 10 people are facing charges relating to the string of crimes.
The suspects include people smugglers, ex-soldiers and police, El Salvador’s National Civil Police (PNC) chief Mauricio Arriaza Chicas was quoted as saying in La Prensa newspaper on Wednesday.
Chicas said investigators believe some of the victims may have been approached by their killers on social media, with offers to help them leave the country or find employment.
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