There is nothing worse for a parent than to see their child in danger. Just ask Patricia Aguilar’s father.
Patricia was an ordinary girl looking forward to her 18th birthday, the day she would officially become an adult. But her family had no idea about the huge first decision she would take as an adult. A decision that would change her life forever.
Here’s Patricia Patricia Aguilar on her 18th birthday in January 2017.
A few days later she disappeared. Her devastated family filled their hometown of Elche, Spain, with signs of photos of Patricia.
The day she disappeared, Patricia’s father, Alberto, noticed that money was missing from their home. And when they heard her last voice message, they were completely confused. In the message, she says: “I’ll be fine, we’ll speak in a few hours”.
Found in Peru
Two days later, the family received a message from the telephone company. It turned out that Patricia had canceled her cell phone and activated a Peruvian number instead, the father told Spanish TV station TVE.
Now, they knew Patricia was in Peru. But why did she travel from Spain to Peru?
They carefully went through Patricia’s room and belongings, desperately seeking answers. Soon, they began to suspect that she had been in contact with a sect.
In her notes from school, they found information about a flight to Lima, Peru’s capital. They also found esoteric prayers, transcribed hymns and other notes proving her connection to a sect. One of the hymns said: “Forget your city and your father’s home”.
“It’s very, very hard to believe, because this is like a movie,” the dad told TVE.
Then one day, they got a voicemail from Patricia, saying: “Follow these steps. Delete the pictures. I will give you an address to send money to, and then I will go to the embassy.”
Patricia wanted them to send money to her and that they delete all pictures of her. If they agreed, she would go to the Spanish embassy in Lima.
After hearing this, Patricia’s aunt, Fina, could only say one thing. “This isn’t Patricia. Someone who doesn’t know her could believe this, but not us. She is being manipulated.”
“We are waiting for her with open arms, we love her and if she comes home we will not be angry,” adds her aunt.
Her father Alberto wanted only one thing: “I just wish she’d wake up and get out. I love her so much, and she knows it.”
Two weeks later, the family notified SOS Desparecidos, an organization that helps find missing persons, of Patricia’s disappearance from Spain.
Found through social media
According to criminologist and expert on sects José Manuel Moreno, Patricia had run off with the sect Gnosis, a type of sect usually on the lookout for young people who are very active in social media. Members create a fake profile with an image of a young person and contact young adults by talking about something that interests him.
After Patrica’s uncle passed away, she became very interested in esoteric subjects, and through this she came into contact with the person who attracted her to the sect.
Experts argue that a person who is drawn to a sect is not aware that they no longer have control over their own decisions. This was what, according to the family, happened to Patricia. Her later messages to her family were designed by the sect, according to the family and experts.
After a year of intense investigation, Alberto Aguilar has now finally managed to locate his daughter.
They’ve also found other girls and boys who’ve been missing. And now the sect’s leaders have been arrested, according to the organization that helped find Patricia.
Patricia ha sido encontrada por la policia así como las otras chicas y niños que estaban desaparecidos y Felix Steven Manrique ha sido detenido. Iremos ampliando información. Muchas Gracias a todos los que habeis hecho fuerza para que esto suceda.
— Sos Patricia Aguilar (@sospatriciasos) July 5, 2018
The family has not only regained their beloved Patricia — they also have a new member… Patricia had gotten pregnant and had a child while in the sect, according to Antena 3.
We hope Patricia feels better and comes to terms with what she’d gone through. Let’s now share this to remind all parents out there to pay attention to any sudden changes in their child’s behavior.