Texas man accused of murdering Colombian DJ girlfriend tried to buy ‘a hallucinogenic drug’
The Texas man accused of strangling his DJ girlfriend in Colombia asked a Uber driver to help him find a place where he could purchase a hallucinogenic drug moments after he had left the airport.
The shocking revelation was made during Wednesday’s court hearing that John Poulos, 35, attended in a conference room at a jail at the Attorney General’s Office building in the capital city of Bogotá.
The proceedings resumed Wednesday, a day after Poulos’ lawyer quit representing him because he had received death threats. A court-appointed interpreter also stepped down Tuesday after Poulos no longer wanted their services due to errors with the translations during the first two hearings.
Poulos is charged with murdering 21-year-old Valentina Trespalacios, whom he was planning to marry.
An autopsy report showed that Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios was strangled and beaten
John Poulos (pictured) was taken into custody in Panama on January 24 moments before he was about to board a flight to Turkey and then connect to Montenegro
A surveillance camera at the north side Bogotá building where John Poulos rented an apartment shows him kissing his Colombia DJ girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, two days before he allegedly strangled her to death and stuffed her body in a suitcase that was found in a dumpster
The Dallas resident, who has three children in the United States and was divorced in 2021, is facing charges of femicide and concealment of evidence.
The Colombian prosecution and the lawyer for Trespalacios’ family addressed the judge presiding over the hearing and presented key evidence as they sought Poulos’ pretrial detention.
A court document showed that Poulos asked the Uber driver if he knew where he could purchase ‘Tusi,’ a pink synthetic drug. However, the driver responded that he was not aware of where it could be bought.
The prosecution for the first time played the video that showed Poulos on the morning of January 22 pushing a cart with Trespalacios stuffed inside a suitcase and placing the luggage bag inside his rental car that was parked in the garage of the north side Bogotá building where he had rented an apartment.
The footage caused Trespalacios’ brother, Daniel Trespalacios, to break down crying.
Still images also showed Trespalacios standing near the apartment door on the night of January 21 as Poulos waited for the elevator to pick up the delivery of a food order.
It was the last time Trespalacios would be seen alive. Poulos appeared on camera the morning of January 22 pushing an empty supermarket cart into the home. He was later seen standing in the hallway waiting for the elevator with the luggage bag containing Trespalacios’ body inside the cart.
The Colombian prosecution revealed video and still images for the first time during a hearing in which it sought to keep John Poulos (right) in pretrial detention as he faces a femicide for killing his DJ girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios (left). They are pictured above arriving at an apartment in the north side of Bogotá the evening of January 20
Still image from the night of January 21 when Valentina Trespalacios (center) was seen alive for the last time before her boyfriend, John Poulos (right), allegedly beat and strangled her to death
John Poulos stands next to a supermarket cart that contained a suitcase with the body of his dead girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios. He covered the suitcase with a blanket to block the 21-year-old’s head, which was sticking out of the luggage bag
Poulos covered the suitcase with a blanket to block the view of Trespalacios’ head, which was sticking out. He then went into the elevator and calmly pushed the cart to his vehicle.
He initially struggled with the weight of the suitcase before he managed to get it into the trunk and fled, driving to the southern side of Bogotá, where he abandoned the luggage bag in a dumpster.
A homeless person searching for recyclables made the gruesome discovery that day, hours before Poulos fled Colombia on a flight to Panamá City, Panamá.
Poulos’ plan to avoid capture included the additional cash purchase of two airplane tickets, one from Panamá City to São Paulo, Brazil, to throw off the Colombian National Police’s international manhunt and a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, where he would connect to a plane to Montenegro, where there is no extradition treaty with Colombia.
Panamanian immigration agents and Interpol arrested him on January 24 night at Tocumen International Airport moments before he was about to board a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.
Poulos told authorities in Panamá that the defunct Medellín Cartel was behind Trespalacios’ murder and wanted to kill him.
According to a court document, Poulos flew into El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá on January 19 and headed to the apartment he had rented until January 22.
John Poulos (left) had plans of living in Colombia full time and marrying his DJ girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios (right). He was arrested in Panama on Tuesday, two days after her body was found inside a suitcase in a dumpster in the Colombian capital city of Bogotá
Valentina Trespalacios was beaten and strangled to death before she was stuffed into a suitcase that was dumped in a construction waste container near a park in Bogotá, Colombia, on Sunday. The 23-year-old was dating John Poulos, a resident from Texas, who is accused of killing her and made his first court appearance Thursday
Trespalacios’ family had previously said that Poulos had traveled to Colombia because he was planning on settling there permanently as part of his plans to marry Trespalacios. They were dating for eight months and had met through an online dating app.
A still image presented during Wednesday’s hearing also showed Poulos kissing Trespalacios moments after the couple arrived outside the apartment building on January 20.
Court records also showed Poulos rented a Volkswagen Voyager from January 19 to January 23. He showed the rental company employee a photo of Trespalacios on his cellphone and mentioned that she was using him for his money.
The prosecution said that Poulos hired a private investigator in Colombia who spent several weeks following Trespalacios and provided real-time monitoring of Trespalacios as well as photographs and videos.
A homeless man was searching through a waste container in the Bogotá neighborhood of Los Cámbulos when he discovered the suitcase with Valentina Trespalacios’ body
Valentina Trespalacios (pictured) was dating her boyfriend John Poulos for eight months before her violent death
Trespalacios’ mother, Laura Hidalgo, told prosecutors that Poulos had become jealous after he saw a video that showed Trespalacios’ friend placing his hands on her leg.
She said that Poulos admitted to Trespalacios that he had contracted the services of the private investigator.
Hidalgo said that her daughter responded by temporarily breaking up with Poulos and then gave him a second chance after he called her brother to beg that she give him a second chance.
Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office have been analyzing the cell phones that were confiscated from Poulos to see if he had erased any of the videos and photos that were sent by the private investigator.