The Strange Case of Diego Flores
San Adrés Mixquic, Mexico (1977): A man arrested for aggravated assault during an altercation in a street brawl following a municipal Day of the Dead celebration. The assailant, who gave his name as Diego Flores at the inquiry, was held in custody overnight at the Mixquic municipal detention center while his identity was verified by federal authorities. During the night in question, the guard on duty reported clawing noises coming from the cell, the intermittent bleating of goats and the sound of animal hooves echoing on the concrete floor of the ward. In the morning it was discovered that Diego Flores had absconded at some point during the night, leaving an empty cell for authorities to puzzle over. The walls of the cell revealed deep gashes or claw marks in the cement. A single animal tooth, most likely belonging to a jaguar, was discovered on the floor under the bed, although no explanation was given for how this object found its way into the cell. Authorities on the scene claimed that the room had a peculiar smell, “not unlike that of an animal lair,” as one official stated in the report filed with the Mexican federal police. Two days later the official inquiry returned that Diego Flores was the name of a Tláhuac resident deceased since 1973. The man claiming to be Diego Flores was never re-apprehend and is officially listed as still at large.