In a chilling video posted to social media, 26-year-old Karissa 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.
The LA 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 Gomez, both now charged with murder, after allegedly injecting Rajpaul – and he believes many more victims – with a liquid silicon mix.
"The internet is filled with stories where they cut the medical-grade silicon with the stuff you would caulk your windows with," he says. "It hits the blood stream, attacks the heart, the brain and the kidneys."
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The LAPD believes this might be just the beginning of 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.
Dinlocker says the mother-daughter duo would transport their medical supplies to private homes with no regard to any emergency contingency. And if something awry were to happen, he says the suspects would disappear, leaving paramedics to arrive to an unknown medical emergency.
"I have seen patients like this," says Board Certified Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. AJ Khalil. He says injecting liquified silicon into the buttocks us not only illegal, but that it can be deadly.
"There are implants that go in the buttocks but they're solid," Khalil says, adding that even those types of implants aren't a common practice. But as for injecting liquified silicon – which he says is often mixed with motor oil – is against the law.
But that might be part of the reason so many clients seek out the so-called "back alley butt lifts." Dinlocker says Adame and Gomez were charging anywhere from $3,500 to $4,500 for the procedure, which would normally cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 in a board-certified medical practice.
"Cheaper doesn't mean it's safe," says Khalil. "It's not worth your life."
Police say 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, you can go online and submit an anonymous tip at www.lapdonline.org or you can call 1-877-LAPD (5273)-247.
Dinlocker adds one more important element to their continuing investigation, particularly to anyone attempting to provide this service to their clients: "If there's a catastrophic incident and somebody gets hurt, you'll be investigated and the DA is filing aggressively."
UPDATE: since this story first aired, more than a dozen more victims have come forward. LAPD says if you are a victim - even if you're not in the Los Angeles area - be sure to contact your local police department.