Valentina Trespalacios, 23, who had almost 16,000 followers on Instagram, was found Sunday in the blue suitcase, which had been wrapped in tape and dumped inside a trash bin near El Dorado International Airport, The City Paper Bogota reported.

The manner of death was ruled as “mechanical asphyxia,” or “strangulation,” according to the outlet.

Shortly before the gruesome find, Trespalacios’ boyfriend John Nelson Poulos, 35, of Texas, left Colombia for Panama, where he was arrested Tuesday as he was about to take a flight in first class to Turkey, the paper said.

Colombian authorities had alerted Interpol about Poulos, who was extradited to Colombia on Thursday.

When he was detained, the Wisconsin native had visible scratch marks on his face, according to the outlet, which said he had a boarding pass on Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Podgorica, Montenegro.

The small Balkan country does not have an extradition agreements with the US and Colombia.

Poulos had reportedly also bought in cash a first-class ticket from Panama to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a possible ploy to elude authorities in the international manhunt. 

Poulos, a private investor with a US-based securities company, had reportedly traveled to Colombia several times while dating Trespalacios, whom he met on a dating app about a year ago.

The DJ’s family said Poulos had planned on marrying her and wanted to start a new life for himself in Colombia.

“I handed you over my only daughter, why did you have to return her in the trash?” the victim’s mother, Laura Hidalgo, said on Semana TV, The City Paper Bogota reported.

Surveillance footage images show Trespalacios getting out of a cab with Poulos early Saturday, a day before she was found dead.

She was seen holding Poulos’ hand as she walked toward a DJ booth for her gig at Nexxus nightclub, according to the outlet.  

Poulos, who Colombian media outlets reported is married with three children, told police he had fled to Panama because the Medellin Cartel was after him, the Daily Mail reported.

He also reportedly claimed the cartel was behind Trespalacios’ murder.

The El Tiempo newspaper reported that Trespalacios’ family said Poulos had ties to the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel, which was founded by jailed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the Daily Mail reported.

Trespalacios, who also was a student at Universidad UNINPAHU, had performed in clubs in Colombia as well as internationally, The Bogota Post reported.

“She was approximately four years into her DJ career,” her uncle, Carlos Trespalacios, told El Tiempo, the news outlet reported. “She had done very well, she had a very promising future, so much so that she hung out all over the country, in the best nightclubs. She also went to many parts of South America.”

Original Article