true crime

A picture of an octopus led to this beauty queen's death.

On April 28, Landy Párraga Goyburo and her boyfriend went out to lunch. The pair were travelling to the city of Quevedo in Ecuador to attend a friend's wedding and when they stopped for a bite, Landy — as so many of us often do — decided to snap a picture of her meal. 

Sharing the image of her octopus ceviche online to her more than 178,000 Instagram followers, Landy couldn't have imagined it would lead to her death. 

But soon after her post went up, gunmen entered the restaurant, shooting and killing the 23-year-old in broad daylight.

Investigators now believe her murder may be linked to an affair she had with a married gang boss in recent years — and the seemingly innocent snap of a delicious meal is what police think led her killers straight to her.

Watch: One of the last videos shared by Landy Párraga before her death. Post continues after video.

Video via Instagram, @yokogh.

Although details surrounding Landy's murder still remain unclear, investigators know that the influencer and former beauty queen was once the lover of a married drug trafficker Leandro Norero (who was killed 19 months ago during a prison riot).

Now, rumours are swirling that the drug lord's widow, Lina Romero (who has reportedly been accused of attempting to bribe judges and prosecutors), may have allegedly taken out a hit on the 23-year-old — although this is pure speculation at this stage.


Landy, who came fifth in the Miss Ecuador pageant in 2022, came to investigators' attention during Operation Metastasis — a recent investigation "a criminal network accused of corrupting Ecuadorian state officials", reports The Telegraph — when her name came up in phone message records from 2022. 

The messages were between the deceased gang boss and his accountant, Helive Ángulo, and were uncovered when Helive was prosecuted, along with about 50 others during the corruption investigation.

During Helive's trial, prosecutors showed the messages, which revealed Leandro had begged the accountant to keep his affair with Landy private, The Times of India reported.

Landy Párraga Goyburo was murdered by masked gunmen at a restaurant after she shared a photo of her meal. Image: Instagram


Investigators also found evidence of Leandro giving Landy lavish gifts, including apartments and cars after his death. 

"If my wife comes across anything about her, I'm screwed," Leandro had written to his accountant. "My friend, her name cannot come out anywhere. Otherwise, my world will come crashing down."

The accountant was one of many others charged during the corruption case, including judges accused of giving gang leaders lighter sentences, police officials thought to have tampered with evidence and given weapons to prisoners, and the former director of Ecuador's prison authority.

Leandro had a long history of gang violence and drug trafficking when he was arrested in May 2022, and found with bars of gold bullion, firearms and $7 million in cash. Six months into his prison sentence, he was killed during a riot, although his body was never identified as it had been so badly burned in a fire that broke out during the riot.

While authorities are still looking into Landy's death, police are also investigating whether she had laundered money for her drug-trafficking lover. The beauty queen had several hundred thousand followers on Instagram and more than a million on TikTok, and owned a sports clothing and importing business. Authorities suspect these organisations were a front for a few of Leandro's illegal dealings.

In one of Landy's final Instagram posts, she shared a series of photographs of her at a beach resort with the caption, "Life is an echo, what you send into it, you get out of it."

Feature Image: Instagram