Mystery Package Found at Drug Lord's Old Mansion

Safe also stolen from Pablo Escobar's former property
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 8:05 AM CST
Updated Jan 24, 2016 2:40 PM CST
Mystery Package Found at Drug Lord's Old Mansion
A bulldozer demolishes the waterfront mansion formerly owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar on Tuesday in Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A mysterious package has emerged from a pink Miami Beach mansion once owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The current owner, Chicken Kitchen founder Christian de Berdouare, bought the waterfront estate for $9.65 million in 2014 with the plan to tear down the old mansion, unaware of Escobar's link to it. When he learned the former boss of the Medellin cartel owned the home before it was seized by US authorities in 1987, he hired professional treasure hunters to sweep the place—a smart move given that Escobar was known to hide goods in secret compartments in walls and floors. Among the discoveries: a "suspicious" foot-long cylinder wrapped in plastic and containing "a white paste" that was found beneath an old stove in the garage, says de Berdouare. Police have concluded it doesn't contain cocaine or ecstasy, reports the Miami Herald, but further details on what it might be weren't available.

Workers were also aware of a safe hidden beneath a tile under a marble staircase, but de Berdouare says it was stolen "within the last 30 days." Authorities previously warned de Berdouare that Escobar's old cronies might try to recover some of his property, reports NBC News. "We don't know what it had inside or if it was empty," he says. Demolition has since begun at the property, where de Berdouare plans to build a new home. "I'm very excited to see the house of the devil disappearing right before our eyes," he tells the AP. "This was the biggest criminal in the history of the world." His wife adds that "there was a very negative energy inside the house," which she had blessed by a Catholic priest before it was torn down. NBC reports it isn't clear if Escobar ever set foot in the house, which might simply have been a base for his cohorts. (Sean Penn has some regrets about that El Chapo interview.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.