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Looking for our Murderers

"The murdered will forever be entombed, in their killers mind "

Quote by Migdoel Noel Torres

There's this folklore I heard as a child about these two young women that were raped and murdered en las montanas de Puerto Rico, llamadas Las Tetas de Cayey, (In the mountains of Puerto Rico call the Titties of Cayey.)

Cerro Las Tetas, nicknamed Las Tetas de Cayey, but officially Cerro Las Tetas, and also Las Piedras del Collado, (The Stones of the Hill.) are two mountain peaks located in the municipality of Salinas, Puerto Rico, north of the city of Salinas. Cerro Las Tetas and Las Piedras del Collado, from afar look like two large breast, so hence the name Titties. Now I've traveled those scary mountain many, many times and these mountains they say have 365 turns, I believe it. I remember my first time traveling through those mountain back in 1970. Back then in order to get to where my family lived there was only one short cut that took you from Aeropuerto Internacional (International Airport) Luis Muñoz Marín on the north side by the Atlantic Ocean straight down to Arroyo on the Caribbean Sea side. Now a day they have what's called the Autopista a super highway that runs from San Juan to Guayama.

Now I came at night and being from NYC. my first thoughts of Puerto Rico was that I hated it. It was 4 am when we started our trip to Arroyo, it was also dark and spooky. As we drove up the mountain I could see a long way down. I saw lights spread out illuminating the island inhabitant homes. I saw a city with a lot of lights. My cousin Hector told me that it was city of Caguas, "La Ciudad Criolla" (Criole city) and "El Corazón de Boriquén" (Boriquén's heart0. (Boriquén was the native Taino Indian name for Puerto Rico.) I paid it no mine because I was scared to death, the higher up we drove. Seeing how one mistake and you and the car would go over those gigantic cliffs and tumble down to your death was weighing heavy on my mind. The cousins that came to pick me up Sulin and Hector weren't helpful either. As they pointed out all the crosses on the side of the road are spots where people had died in car accidents. Like I hadn't noticed. Soon it started to get foggy and a white mist filled the road. I quickly remember the movie "The Crawling Eye" and began to panic. My cousins laughed and told me not to worry, it's just that we were so high up in the mountain that we were driving through the clouds. "Clouds! Don't worry? How the hell can you see?" I shouted. One other thing that I found eerie was that there was no other traffic of any kind on the road, which was a good thing since the road on this dangerous mountain is as narrow as the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Brooklyn. And we were on the side of the mountain that if something went wrong, we'd fly off it. So as you could see I was petrified, "Ain't nothing like these in the New York city." I said out low. When we reached the top or halfway mark, I could see a bunch of closed cantina’s and restaurants. The place is called Guavate home of the Lechon. This is a party and food town where everybody comes from all over the Island to eat, drink and be merry. But since it was late and everything was closed, we just drove through it and started our decent down the mountain. Now I understood why there were so many crosses on this mountain and I wondered who's idea was it to put cantina's, dance clubs and restaurants that served alcohol all over the place on this never ending mountain. So as we descended down the mountain, my cousin Sulin decides to tell me a scary story. One that my other cousin Hector became an accomplice to. Sulin told me that if two girls were hitchhiking that we would have to pick them up. I got sarcastic quickly, "Oh yeah two girls, not three?" He said no two, let me explain.

He went on to tell me the story that most Puerto Ricans know, but me a New York Rican had no idea of.

It seems that this young girl that lived with her family in the area we were driving through, seems she was going to get married and her sister and she were going to Caguas, the big city we had passed by a while back. The girls were hitchhiking (Do not know the time.) Back in those days it was common to hitchhike because they're was no public transportation in the area and if there was it was over in the early evening. Anyway a car stopped with a few guys in it and asked them where was it they were going. The one getting married said, "The church in Caguas." The men agreed to take them there but the girls never made it to that church. They were found raped and murdered someplace in the mountain. This gave me chills as I knew where this was headed. My cousin told me that he heard tell that the ghost of those women all dressed in white have been spotted hitchhiking at night around where we were on the mountain and that if you didn't pick them up that they would just appear in the backseat of the car. Many people had died of heart attacks, other because they drove off the mountain or hit a tree. But a few just drove them to where they wanted to go, the church in Caguas, were they get out and walk into it. Now rumor has it that the girls are looking for those responsible for their deaths. I nervously joked and told my cousins, "Thank God were going the other way and it looks like they haven't found their killers yet." My cousin told me in a serious look on his face not to talk ill about the died. I just looked out the window and wondered how much truth is in that story. I do want to say, that as we drove down the mountain the sun started to rise on that cloudless day and soon everything was alive and in vivid color. I could see birds of all colors flying, the grass looked greener then I had ever had seen before. I could even see the blue waters of the Caribbean sea in the distance. From thinking oh what a dreary place to OMG this place is beyond beautiful, this place is truly a paradise.

Story does not end there. Now the real petrifying part.

I went to Puerto Rico for what I thought was going to be 2 weeks. I stood two years. My cousin Hector told me he was going to the states to see his mother and I decided that I better go back too since my girlfriend that had visited me months before was pregnant. So I got my ticket for a night flight and the cousin that picked me up when I first arrived volunteered to take us to the airport. On our way there we started that familiar climb up the mountain and by now since I had driven up that mountain so many times before I wasn't as scared as the first time. On our way up going toward Guavate (By the way, love the place) we were laughing and joking. Then we saw these two girls dressed all in white hitchhiking. Now there are no houses on this part of the mountain. It got eerily quiet in the car. My cousin slowed down and stopped and the girls opened the door and sat in the back seat where I was. I was petrified. I didn't even look at their faces. I turned and looked out the window. I heard her say they wanted to go to the church in Caguas. Well surprise, surprise! I thought to myself. Still my mind created doubt and I decided to see if the girls were real. So I slowly moved my right hand and inch my right finger toward her white dress and I was about to touch her dress. I glanced at it for a second and saw it was lace, but as I got really close, I panicked. I quickly thought, "What if my finger went through that dress? What if she looked at me with holes where her eyes were suppose to be?" I slowly moved my finger back to where it was, by my side. My cousin drove the girls to Caguas and dropped them off in front of a church. They got out and we took off. All the way to the airport we didn't speak. This happened in 1972 and till this day my cousin Hector and I have never spoken of that day. My cousin Sulin passed away (May he rest in peace,) a couple of years ago. I'm sure he knows the truth now. Through the years I have said the story but this is the first time I write about it.

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