Man who invited woman on holiday without meeting her in viral tweet charged with her murder

A Texas man’s tweet about his spontaneous first date with a Colombian DJ has received a Twitter community note revealing that he has since been accused of her murder.
The tweet, in response to a prompt about users’ “craziest first date,” was posted in December, showing John Poulos, 35, on vacation. “Invited a Colombian woman on vacation without meeting her first - now we’re getting married,” he wrote.

But in January, Colombian prosecutors accused Poulos of killing the woman in the photo, 23-year-old Valentina Trespalacios, who was a rising DJ. He was arrested in Panama after her body was found in southwest Bogotá,

“The user who posted this tweet is now charged with murdering the woman in question,” a Twitter user wrote as a community note, a feature aimed at providing critical context to posts that could be misleading.

Trespalacios’ family told Colombian news outlet Caracol that the couple had been together for about eight months and planned on moving in together in Bogotá, adding that Polous was jealous and deeply obsessed with his fiancée.

Daniel Felipe, Trespalacios’ brother, told Caracol in a separate interview that Poulos had hired a private investigator to follow her to parties.
The Colombian attorney general’s office said it reviewed more than 300 hours of surveillance videos as well as photos and witness testimonies to investigate the days leading up to Trespalacios’ death.

According to surveillance footage obtained by international outlet Revista Semana, the couple had first arrived in Bogota to settle into their apartment on Jan. 19. Trespalacios was last seen on video entering and leaving the apartment on Jan. 21.

That night, a rideshare driver had told Caracol that he received a message from Trespalacios asking for help and that she was in danger. When the driver asked if she was OK, Poulos entered the vehicle, and she told the driver that she’d written the message by mistake, Caracol reported.

Video footage also shows Polous moving what prosecutors say is Trespalacios’ body inside a suitcase covered with a gray blanket on the morning of Jan. 22. In the video, he places the suitcase in a shopping cart and moves it to a silver vehicle.

After Trespalacios was found dead later that day, an international manhunt for Poulous began. He was arrested at an airport in Panama on Jan. 24 while attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, according to Panama’s National Police.

Poulos was charged with aggravated femicide and concealment of evidence in the death of Trespalacious, according to the Colombian attorney general’s office.

“John Nelson Poulos exercised a cycle of psychological violence against his patrnter, to the point of controlling her individual actions, reviewed her social networks and phone, and contracted with a private investigator to follow her and keep him informed of her movements,” the attorney general’s office said.

He is accused of beating and strangling Trespalacios in a fit of jealousy, authorities said.

Criminal proceedings are ongoing, and a judge earlier this year rejected an argument from Poulos’ attorneys to have the case thrown out on procedural issues. Hearings are scheduled for this month.

In an a statement obtained by Wisconsin news outlet CBS 58, Poulos’ ex-wife Ashley Poulos said their marriage was “abusive” and that she’s "deeply saddened" for the Trespalacios family.

“The relationship between John and I was abusive, which led me to file for divorce in 2021,” Poulos said in a statement. “Shortly before I filed for divorce, John transferred our entire marital estate to an offshore trust leaving the family with nothing.”

Ashley Poulos said that she and her ex-husband lived in Franklin, Wisconsin, before he moved to Texas. They share three kids, the oldest of which had cancer at the age of 4.

“John abandoned his children and has not seen them in person since he left Wisconsin in January 2021,” Ashley Polous said in the statement.

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