17 July 2023

Man found guilty of murdering partner during holiday to Peru

17 July 2023

A man who strangled and buried his partner while on holiday in Peru has been found guilty of her murder.

Jorge Garay killed 37-year-old Karla Godoy before he wrapped her body in a tarpaulin and dumped her in a makeshift grave on land owned by his family in Lima, Kent Police said.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court took seven hours to find Garay, 46, of Hythe Street, Dartford, guilty of murder on Monday.

The court heard the couple had left the UK on September 15 2022 and travelled to Peru via Spain.

Ms Godoy’s family, who live in Honduras and Spain, last heard from the mother-of-one on September 23 when she told them she planned to travel back to Spain the following day. She never arrived.

After efforts to contact her failed, Ms Godoy’s worried relatives contacted the police in both Spain and Peru.

Kent Police said Garay returned to the UK alone on October 4.

He told his landlord that Ms Godoy had stayed in Spain while he went to Peru and also claimed he had been robbed of his money and ID while away.

Garay then emptied the flat the couple had rented in Dartford and handed his keys back before he left the area.

On October 12, as Ms Godoy’s family and friends continued to search for her, Garay was reported to have made a confession via a telephone conversation in which he admitted to murder.

Kent Police said he claimed they had argued and he had acted in self-defence.

Ms Godoy’s body was found by Peruvian authorities in a garden on the same day.

She had been strangled and was identified through fingerprint records.

Garay was arrested in London on October 14 and charged with murder two days later.

After the verdict, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Lee Neiles, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Karla Godoy’s life was violently cut short by a man she trusted during what was supposed to be a holiday for the couple.

“Garay’s actions not only ended her life but he tried to cover up his crimes by callously disposing of her body and hiding it in a makeshift grave.

“Karla leaves behind a young daughter who now faces growing up without her mum and leaves a family without their daughter, sister and aunt.

“Despite Garay’s initial confession to Karla’s family, he pleaded not guilty and instead chose to put her family through the ordeal of a trial, where details were heard that no family should have to listen to.

“This was a complex case which involved working with international police forces, agencies and prosecuting authorities and I’m pleased we have been able to secure this conviction and hope it offers some justice for Karla and her family.”

Garay is due to be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on July 28.

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