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 in October 2019, when she died from acute respiratory failure from dangerous silicone injections, the Los Angeles Police Department told KTLA Monday.
“This cosmetic procedure involved injecting an uncontained, liquid silicone substance directly into the buttocks to make the buttocks look fuller,” LAPD said in a news release. “The consequence of injecting uncontained silicone into the body is that it can enter the blood stream and create embolisms which can result in serious illness or death.”
Detectives say the two women arrested in the case, 51-year-old Libby Adame and her 23-year-old daughter Alicia Gomez, are unlicensed providers and have been able to commit these alleged crimes off-the-grid for years, recruiting clients through Instagram.
“They pass themselves off like they have skill or expertise to do surgeries on the human body and that is not the case,” Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton of the LAPD said.
After the mother-daughter duo injected Rajpa, she had complications. They called 911, then fled the scene and left her to die, Hamilton said, without informing paramedics of the cosmetic procedure for proper lifesaving protocols to be initiated.
As a result, Rajpa died in an emergency room with tending physicians unaware of the silicone injection, LAPD said.
Adame and Gomez were arrested suspicion of murder in Riverside on Aug. 5.
“They took people’s cash, and we know in a couple of incidents it resulted in murder,” Hamilton said.
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 of the case. “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 lifts 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. Anyone with additional information is asked contact detectives at 818-374-9550. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org.