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A California mother and daughter accused of killing a woman in a buttocks augmentation procedure pleaded not guilty to murder on Tuesday.
Libby Adame, 52, and her daughter, Alicia Galaz, 24, are charged with murder after 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul died during an illegal, plastic surgical procedure. The mother and daughter are also charged with three felony counts of practicing medicine without certification.
Adame and Galez were arrested last year for the woman’s October 2019 death at a private home. The pair used social media to advertise their low-rate, cash-based operation, according to authorities.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office ruled Rajpaul’s death a homicide. She died from acute cardiopulmonary dysfunction and intramuscular/intravascular silicone injections, records from the coroner’s office show.
Rajpaul had moved from South Africa to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the adult film industry and had two similar buttocks procedures before her fatal one.
The Los Angeles Police Department said after the arrests that the procedure involved the injection of an uncontained liquid silicone substance directly into the buttocks to make them appear bigger.
Police said injecting uncontained silicone into the body can result in it entering the bloodstream and creating embolisms that can lead to serious illness or death.
When complications arose during the procedure, Adame and Galaz dialed 911 and left Rajpaul at the scene. First responders arrived and transported Rajpaul to the hospital, where she died later that same day.
“The suspects fled the scene without identifying or informing the paramedics of the cosmetic procedure for proper life-saving protocols to be initiated. As a result, the victim died in an emergency room with tending physicians unaware of the silicone injection,” police said in a statement.
“Suspect Adame and Galaz are a mother and daughter team that performed these inherently unsafe, FDA-unapproved, cosmetic buttocks augmentations. Neither are a licensed medical provider in California and their clients were recruited through Instagram,” the statement continued.
Adame and Galaz are free on bond and are due back in court on November 3, when a hearing will then be scheduled to determine if there is enough evidence for the case to head to trial.