LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Two women were arrested last month after a botched Brazilian butt lift conducted inside a private Encino home led to the death of an aspiring social media star, police said.
Karissa Rajpa was undergoing her third such procedure last September, when she died from acute respiratory failure from dangerous silicone injections, the Los Angeles Police Department told KTLA Monday.
Detectives say the two women arrested in the case, Libby Adame and her daughter Alicia Gomez, have been able to commit these alleged crimes off the grid for years due to social media.
“They pass themselves off like they have skill or expertise to do surgeries on the human body and that is not the case,” said Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton of the LAPD.
After the mother-daughter duo injected Rajpa, she had complications. They called 911, then left her to die, Hamilton said.
“They took people’s cash and we know in a couple of incidents, it resulted in murder,” Hamilton said.
Adame and Gomez have both been charged over the operation.
There could be dozens, if not hundreds, of more victims at the hands of the same two women, according to detectives.
“Some of these victims may have not survived these procedures and that’s what we are looking into now,” Hamilton said.
Rajpa moved to California from South Africa hoping to be a star. But instead, detectives said she was preyed on and killed.
“I was completely terrified,” Dr. A.J. Khalil, a board-certified surgeon, said. “I mean it’s a nightmare come true. … It’s unsafe, it’s illegal and these people are going to have to deal with the consequences. They killed a patient.”
The surgeon added that, sadly, this happens often.
“It’s done by individuals who aren’t trained, who are injecting either silicone grade stuff from Home Depot or Lowe’s, any kind of compound,” Khalil said.
And it’s a popular procedure. In fact, Brazilian butt lift‘s have spiked 77% in the U.S. just over the last few years.
The two women run a completely cash-based operation, LAPD said, adding that they found evidence that these procedures were conducted in Las Vegas too, and possibly out of the country, for potentially over a decade.
The LAPD wants to hear from any victims or family members who have lost a loved one from such procedures.