What to Know
- LAPD believes this might be part a larger string of illegal butt lifts across LA County.
- Since NBCLA first reported the crime in September of 2021, Det. Dinlocker says more than 100 women have come forward believed to be victims.
- If something were to go awry at the victim's home during the procedure, authorities alleges the suspects would disappear, leaving paramedics to arrive to an unknown medical emergency.
A woman charged alongside her mother for the murder of an aspiring adult film star after they allegedly injected the star's buttocks with silicone in a "back alley butt lift" made her first court appearance Wednesday.
Alicia Galaz and her mother, Libby Adame, are accused of practicing medicine without a license and causing the death of 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul in 2019 after injecting her buttocks with a poisonous silicon mixture.
In a chilling video posted to social media, Rajpaul starts on a selfie and soon reveals the buttocks augmentation happening behind her as she laid on a table in Encino in September of 2019. It was the second of three procedures within a month of each other. Immediately after the third, she would be dead.
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The Los Angeles Police Department says Rajpaul, an LA transplant from South Africa who came to Southern California to pursue a career in the adult film industry, recorded the video to share on social media for the woman performing the procedure, known as “La Tia.”
“That’s how she would advertise it, everyone knows her as La Tia,” says LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Bob Dinlocker. He arrested Libby Adame and her daughter, Alicia Galaz. They posted $1 million bail.
Outside the Folz Criminal Courts Building in Downtown LA, Galaz kept close beside her attorney but wouldn’t comment, and soon jumped into an awaiting Land Rover registered in her name.
LAPD believes this might be part a larger string of illegal butt lifts across LA County.
“These are very dangerous, unlicensed medical practices that are propagating themselves through social media,” says LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton, adding that he believes victims are afraid to come forward because of embarrassment.
“We need these victims to come forward because we need to find out if there are other victims out there that are permanently disfigured or may have passed away as a result of some of these procedures and may have been a victim of a criminal act,” he says.
Since NBCLA first reported the crime in September of 2021, Det. Dinlocker says more than 100 women have come forward believed to be victims. He alleges the mother-daughter duo would transport their medical supplies to private homes with no regard to any emergency contingency. If something were to go awry, he alleges the suspects would disappear, leaving paramedics to arrive to an unknown medical emergency.
Taryn Quinterri says she is a survivor of an alleged illegal butt lift. She alleges she paid Adame and Galaz $3,000 for the procedure.
“I’m skinny, very slim and I just wanted a bigger butt and there were no options at the time,” she said. "The daughter is part of what made me feel OK doing it because she was like, 'look, I had them.' The daughter definitely helped sell me.”
She said the idea of having this done by someone who was not associated with a legitimate medical practice didn’t seem unusual.
“It was done in a hotel room in Las Vegas. There were other girls having it done the same day and I didn’t think too much of it because I’ve been to injection parties for botox that people host at their house, so it wasn’t that abnormal," she said.
Six months after her injections, she says a rash that wouldn’t go away led her to find out that whatever was injected into her ended up seeping into her muscle tissue.
“I had some migrate to my legs. And I had some near my sciatic nerve which means I need that fixed by separate surgeon,” she said.
She says she went to Colombia to find a surgeon with expertise in removing the silicon mixture, but that he was only able to remove 50% of it.
“It’s as serious as this,” she said. “I could die from this one day and there’s no way to get this out of me as of today.”
Both Adame and Galaz were asked to turn over their passports by Dec. 15 and to be fitted with ankle monitors so they can be monitored before their next court appearance – together – Feb. 2.
LAPD says if you’re a victim of this, even if it’s embarrassing to admit, they want to hear from you. You can contact LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Division at 818-374-9550, or you can go online and submit an anonymous tip at www.lapdonline.org or you can call 1-877-LAPD (5273)-247.