A Los Angeles mother-daughter duo have been charged with murder after performing multiple illegal butt lift operations on a woman who died after the third.
Karissa Rajpaul, the victim in question, was only 26 years old when she shared footage of one procedure to social media, police told NBC4. The South Africa native, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the adult entertainment industry, was recording the clip for one of the unqualified surgeons known as “La Tia,” who she tagged in the post.
“That’s how she would advertise it, everyone knows her as La Tia,” LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Bob Dinlocker said. Dinlocker has since arrested Libby Adame — “La Tia” — and her daughter Alicia Gomez for murder, as the pair illegally injected Rajpaul “with a liquid silicon mix.” Rajpaul died immediately after undergoing the third operation.
“The internet is filled with stories where they cut the medical-grade silicon with the stuff you would caulk your windows with,” Dinlocker explained. “It hits the blood stream, attacks the heart, the brain and the kidneys.”
Authorities are concerned this is the start of a troubling plastic surgery trend, and urge other victims of unlicensed procedures to report them to police. “These are very dangerous, unlicensed medical practices that are propagating themselves through social media,” LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said. “We need these victims to come forward because we need to find out if there are other victims out there that are permanently disfigured or may have passed away as a result of some of these procedures and may have been a victim of a criminal act.”
“’These individuals have no medical training,” he continued. “They’re not experienced and they’re putting people’s lives at risk.” Indeed, La Tia and her daughter would allegedly transport their supplies to patients’ private homes in an especially hazardous manner, with no regard to any proper medical protocol. What’s more, should something go wrong — which it often does during back-alley procedures — the team would then flee, leaving medical staff to manage the emergency.
Board Certified Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. AJ Khalil told ABC4 that injecting silicon into the buttock is not only against the law, but extremely dangerous. ”There are implants that go in the buttocks but they’re solid,” Khalil said, though they’re not actually common practice. And injecting liquified silicon, which is “often mixed with motor oil,” is very much against the law — though the shady practice makes it more affordable, attracting desperate clients despite the risk.
As expected, Adame and Gomez only charged $3,500 to $4,500 for the faulty procedure,, while it customarily costs $10,000 to $15,000 for a board-certified medical practice to perform the procedure. But of course, “cheaper doesn’t mean it’s safe,” Khalil reiterated. “It’s not worth your life.
The LAPD is encouraging victims of similar crimes to come forward, “even if it’s embarrassing to admit.” Contact LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Division at 818-374-9550 or submit an anonymous tip at www.lapdonline.org.