An extensive new report by Rolling Stone reveals the tragic story of Karissa Rajpaul, who is one of an untold number of people who have found themselves victims of lethally botched butt-injection surgeries.
The story begins in 2016 when a pair of newlyweds named Marco and Karissa Rajpaul moved to Los Angeles after suffering a tragic miscarriage.
Just three years later, Karissa had been sucked into a luxurious Hollywood lifestyle, started stripping and working in brothels and getting cosmetic surgeries. It all came to a head after a buttocks augmentation procedure that was done in their home and within three hours she was dead.
"I told her, 'Look, you're doing something very dangerous, something you should do only with doctors supervising in a medical room or a hospital,'" Marco said. "She told me, 'Oh, no, don't worry, I already did it twice.' I'm like, 'Are you crazy?'"
Police revealed that what was injected was "uncontained liquid silicone," which pierced her muscle and entered her bloodstream. It took about 30 minutes for Karissa's "doctors" to call for Marco to help.
"He entered the room to see Karissa sitting on the bed, pale and struggling for breath," the story recalled. "In his telling, he went to check on her and found her close to fainting."
"I was like, 'OK, what's going on with this person? Why is she so weak? She's passing out,'" he told Rolling Stone, saying they claimed she just needed some sugar. "I ran, I got her some chocolate, Coca-Cola, whatever. I told them, 'Look, you guys should take her to a hospital.' They were like, 'Oh, no, she'll be fine.' Of course, she wasn't fine. She wasn't responding. She just looked very, very low. When she started passing out, I gave her mouth-to-mouth. I yelled, 'Call 911! You need to call 911 right now. This is crazy. You're f*cking insane.'"
Neither of those who did the botched procedure had medical licenses. They took their equipment and left the property as paramedics arrived, leaving them with no idea how to help her.
"I knew they injected her with something," said one man present. "That's what I told the paramedics when they got here: 'She had some kind of procedure done on her.'"
The 26-year-old died just three hours after getting the injections.
"The medical examiner found silicone oozing from her puncture wounds internally, in the muscle of the buttocks," said the report. "The autopsy report said she had died from acute cardiopulmonary dysfunction caused by the silicone injections; it determined the manner of death to be homicide."
It took two years before police charged those who conducted the operation with murder, along with three counts of practicing medicine without a license.
"Authorities say they recovered tens of thousands of dollars in cash from a search warrant executed at the two women's home," said the report. They obtained medical records showing six sources that went on the record with police about their unlawful procedures by those who injected Karissa.
Thus far, nearly 100 people have come forward about loved ones who suffered injury or disfigurement following procedures by the two who came to Karissa's to inject her that day: Libby Adame, 51, and her daughter Alicia Galaz, 23. Police sources indicated that they may have been performing unlawful cosmetic procedures since 2012 and it may extend to other states and internationally.
"We've already verified that we have victims in other states, and we are working on verifying that we have victims from other countries, as well," said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton. He said that people have come forward as far away as Miami and Toronto. They're now connecting with witnesses daily.
The report noted that it's part of the so-called LA and Hollywood culture, to be obsessed with your looks and body. The report cited "the Kardashification of the American aesthetic," which has plumped up cosmetic procedures 22 percent since 2000. The obsession is so well-known that underground plastic surgery has even become part of fictional stories in crime shows like "Bones" and "CSI."
In 2019 alone more than 28,000 people got the so-called Brazilian butt lift and the hashtag #bbl on TikTok has 3.3 billion views where people document their experiences traveling to get the procedure. "The BBL, in which fat is removed by liposuction from one part of the body and injected into the buttocks, may be the fastest-growing cosmetic procedure nationwide, but it's also the deadliest," said the report.
But the less-expensive black-market procedure is the BBL injections, where the buttocks are injected with a filler-like liquid instead of using their own tissue and fat. It's banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Even Cardi B revealed that when she was just 22 she paid $800 to have fillers injected in her buttocks in someone's apartment in Queens.
"In the club, it's like you're almost invisible if you don't have a big ass like that," she said in an interview. She also said that she regrets doing it. "I don't really know what's in my ass right now. I could die. Who knows?"
Now, a number of men are turning to underground silicone injections to help build curves in their chest, known as "pumping."
Los Angeles-based singer Laura Moreno, who goes by Jaddie More, didn't even think she needed a larger booty, much less the injections. She was afraid of such a procedure, but a friend suggested it, saying that it would help her music career.
"Moreno says that in early 2014, she went to see Adame, who some women she knew had already visited, which made her more comfortable," she recalled, saying she paid $200-300 for the injections of "celulas madres — stem cells."
At first everything was fine, but at the second treatment, her leg began hurting. When she went back Adame gave her another injection and something "for the infection."
At lunch just a few hours later she started throwing up then fainted. She didn't want to go to a hospital, thinking that it would pass, but it never did.
"By the time she agreed to go to the hospital, a neighbor had to carry her downstairs to the car," said Rolling Stone. "On the drive, Moreno felt drowsy, but her girlfriend begged her not to close her eyes. She was admitted to the hospital in septic shock, according to medical records." The records also say that she had gluteal injections.
"The doctor said that if I would have [gotten] there 10 minutes later, I would have died," she recalled.
But when Moreno went to the LAPD to file a report, she was basically ignored with officers "barely listening at the time."
"They sent us always to another place, like, 'You need to go to the court, you need to see a judge,'" she said. "They don't give attention to something that for them [is] not big, but for us, it's something big."