Is Downey man Bryant Rivera America’s new Ted Bundy?

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES A Downey man and suspected serial killer likened by Mexican authorities to the notorious Ted Bundy is behind bars and awaiting extradition to Mexico to face charges of murdering at least one prostitute in Tijuana and a string of sex worker slayings in Mexico, according to the top prosecutor in Baja California.

Bryant Rivera, 30, was arrested by federal authorities July 6 in Downey at the request by Mexican authorities who accuse him of a murder spree that spanned six months, according to court documents and U.S. officials.

“This subject has criminal tendencies associated with violent and psychopathic behavior,” Baja California Attorney General Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez said of the suspect in a meeting with reporters in Tijuana. “His profile is very similar to someone who became very well-known decades ago: Ted Bundy.”

Carpio Sánchez described Rivera as a serial killer who murdered three sex workers between September 2021 and February 2022.

His victims were young, beautiful and worked as dancers. He dated one woman regularly. He took another woman out on a Valentine’s Day date. He paid a third to accompany him to a hotel. Then, according to Mexican authorities, he brutally murdered them.

Investigators haven’t ruled out other victims.

The Mexican prosecutor also said Rivera had an unusual relationship with his mother — that he would often sleep with her in the same bed.

Though Rivera is wanted for three murders in Mexico, US officials have only charged him with one femicide, according to a federal complaint.

Authorities in the U.S. are investigating Rivera’s possible relationship with a woman who went missing in 2019, according to Carpio Sánchez.

Rivera was placed in federal custody pending a pretrial detention hearing in Los Angeles, said Thom Mrozek, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

A U.S. Attorney’s complaint underpins a warrant for Rivera’s arrest and lays out Baja California’s case against him in the death last year of a Tijuana sex worker. It states that he’s been charged with femicide, the killing of women because they are women.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2021, Mexico reported 1,000 femicides.

Rivera “is considered a serial killer” and “will now face justice in Baja California,” Carpio said in a social media statement.

Rivera’s parents said they are in disbelief over their son’s arrest. His father, Candido Rivera, told NBC Los Angeles that they depend on him. 

“He takes us to our doctor’s appointments, to the supermarket,” Rivera said of his son who he described as kind and caring.

If convicted, Rivera faces three 65-year sentences, one for each alleged victim, according to Carpio Sánchez. 

But Rivera’s father told NBC: “I’m going to wait and see what the evidence shows.”

It wasn’t clear if Rivera had legal representation. The federal public defender’s office in Los Angeles did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The federal complaint details the Jan. 24, 2022, killing of Ángela Carolina Acosta Flores, a dancer at a club in Tijuana and sex worker, who was last seen on security video entering a hotel room prosecutors say was rented by Rivera.

Her lifeless body was found in a bathroom the next day, and an autopsy concluded she had been asphyxiated, according to the complaint.

Mexican authorities said witnesses identified well-known customer Rivera as the man who was last seen with Flores, though he used the name “Eduardo” when mingling with the dancers and checking out hotel rooms.

One prostitute told investigators Rivera had taken her to the hotel room for a “service” just hours before he allegedly killed her colleague.

Despite being identified as the Flores’ killer, Rivera returned to the same bar just one month later to allegedly kill another dancer.

The 25-year-old victim was found strangled to death, naked and bludgeoned inside her SUV three days after she went missing, according to the San Diego Tribune.

According to Baja California prosecutors, Rivera was seen leaving the room before midnight that night and he never returned. He crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on foot 13 minutes after leaving the room, they allege in the complaint.

One witness used Rivera’s first and last name in telling detectives who she last saw with Acosta at the club, which is next to the hotel, according to the filing. The unnamed witness said she knew Rivera as a regular, the complaint states.

A federal complaint filed on June 29 for his provisional arrest alleged that Rivera brought a sex worker back to his Tijuana hotel room on Jan. 24, 2022. The woman was found dead from strangulation the following day, according to the complaint.

The complaint features photos that prosecutors say show Rivera with the alleged victim outside of the hotel elevator the night of Jan. 24, 2022, and him heading back to the U.S. less than two hours later.

Photo 2

This photo that prosecutors said shows Bryant Rivera with an alleged victim was included in a U.S. Department of Justice complaint.

U.S. Department of Justice

Photo 3

When his first alleged victim’s body was found, Rivera was already back in the U.S. as video surveillance taken from the San Ysidro Port of Entry caught him reentering the country just 13 minutes after leaving the scene of the murder,  according to the government complaint.

U.S. Department of Justice

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