Man Who ‘Sleeps’ With ‘Girlfriend’ Mummy Arrested, Gets Shocking Surprise: ‘It’s Not A Juanita, It’s A Juan’

A man caught with an 800-year-old mummy he called his “girlfriend” not only got arrested, but also surprised when it turned out the corpse’s male gender had been kept under wraps.

Julio Cesar Bermejo, the 26-year-old man who Peruvian police say had possession of the mummy in a food delivery bag, called it his “spiritual girlfriend” whose name was “Juanita.” He claims the mummy, which is believed to be 600 to 800 years old, has been in his possession since his father gave it to him and has been in his family for at least 30 years. He failed to clarify how his father came into possession of the corpse.

“It sleeps in my bedroom, with me,” Bermejo told a local news outlet in an interview. “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.” 

According to officials, “Juanita” is actually a he. The mummy is believed to have been an approximately 45 year-old-male who stood at 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and died sometime between 600 and 800 years ago. “It’s not a Juanita, it’s a Juan,” an expert with Peru’s culture ministry said.

Bermejo brought the mummy to have drinks with two friends at a deserted park in Puno, Peru, a city in the southeast of the country on the shore of Lake Titicaca, authorities say. He reportedly brought “Juanita” to show off to his friends. Police were alerted to the scene and discovered the mummy in the fetal position inside a red food delivery bag. The Ministry of Culture is now in custody of the mummy, labeling it a “cultural asset,” promising to “protect and preserve the heritage.”

Bermejo was also taken into custody over the weekend. Authorities are investigating potential crimes committed against the cultural heritage of Peru.

“At home, she’s in my room, she sleeps with me. I take care of her”

Peru 🇵🇪 police find pre-Hispanic mummy in ex-delivery man’s bag

The mummy was in the isothermal bag the man had once used to deliver food to people’s home

— Saad Abedine (@SaadAbedine) March 1, 2023

The way the mummy was found — in a fetal position and wrapped in bandages — is consistent with pre-Hispanic mummies, according to BBC News. Mummification in Peru was common before the Spanish arrived and practiced by multiple cultures over 7,000 years ago, the American Museum of Natural History notes. They also say that it was common to keep mummies at home and bring them to festivals at the time.


A group of people who lived in today’s Peru and Chile — the Chinchorros — were the first group to practice mummification, thousands of years before the Egyptians, the museum states. In late 2021, a mummy dating between 800 to 1,200 years ago was unearthed in Lima, the country’s capital. According to CNN, it was wrapped in rope and had its hands covering its face. In February of last year, archeologists discovered the mummies of six children and eight adults in Lima.

Under national heritage laws, “Juanita” is now the property of the state. In its press release, the culture ministry asked citizens to “actively collaborate in the defense and protection of our precious heritage, notifying our entity of any finding or attack on movable or immovable cultural heritage.”

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