Suspect arrested in connection with murder of Jesuit priest

By September 6, 2018

A month after the murder of Jesuit priest Carlos Riudavets in a small Amazon village in Peru, police say they have captured a suspect believed to be tied to the killing.

On Tuesday, Peruvian police arrested Osman Pitug Wajush, according to Spanish-language newspaper La República, as the principal suspect in Riudavets’ killing in the Yamakai-Entsa community in the Bagua province.

Riudavets was found dead from stab wounds in a primary school in the village on the morning of Aug. 10. The priest from Spain worked for nearly four decades in the same community as an educator and religious leader.

Police detained the 29-year-old Pitug during a routine traffic stop on the Bagua-Sarameriza Highway.

Peru National Police local head Walter Quiroz Simón said that Pitug was registered as the main suspect in the case two weeks after Riudavets was found dead. Much of the police theory behind his involvement circles around the fact that Pitug’s sister works at the school, per Quiroz’s statements. He said police believe Pitug entered the school to rob something and, when he unexpectedly saw the priest, he stabbed him.

According to religious news site CruxNow, some members of the Jesuit community have expressed their doubts that it Pitug should be the primary suspect.

Riudavets, who was 73 at the time of his death, had technically retired from his job at the school but continued to assist with everyday functions.