Jessica Vo was 23 when she first discovered she was wanted for murder.
After leaving Peru three months earlier, she saw her photo on a foreign news segment, along with five of her friends, describing them as the faces behind the murder of 45-year-old Lino Rodriguez Vilchez.
It would be the beginning of a four year ordeal, during which the threat of being extradited, and listed as a fugitive under an Interpol red notice, was constantly looming.
It all started in November 2012, when Jessica embarked on a three month trip to the South American nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
“The trip was a gift from my boyfriend at the time, to celebrate overcoming ovarian cancer,” she tells Mamamia.
Jessica, her boyfriend Hugh, and Hugh’s younger brother Tom met three other Australians — Andrew, Sam and Harrison — on the flight over, and the six became travel buddies for their South American adventure.
When they arrived in Peru in January, they rented a 15th-floor apartment on the Malecon Cisneros — an expensive, popular street that snakes along Lima's scenic coastline. On January 19, just hours into their two-night stay, they heard a loud thud.
It was this thud — the sound of doorman Lino Rodriguez Vilchez hitting the ground after falling to his death — that would place the six Australians in what would later be described as simply "the wrong place at the wrong time."
"We were asked to help in the initial police investigation, which we found to be strange as we were not witnesses," recalls Jessica.
From "seeing a dead body, to having police investigate us as if we were suspects," it was an unsettling time for the six young Australians. The now 28-year-old says the group were questioned by police multiple times and even found themselves in a situation where the police attempted to take their passports and "touch Australian money" — which they "didn’t feel comfortable with."
When one of the group contacted the Australian embassy in Lima, they were advised to continue their travel and assured everything was resolved in terms of their involvement in the crime.
The six returned home and tried to forget the tragic incident they'd witnessed in their Lima apartment.
But three months later, some of the group started to receive odd messages on Facebook, many of them in Spanish. It was when they saw a television segment from Peru, labelling them as the faces implicated in the murder of the doorman, that they began to process the weight of the situation.