A college student dies on her 21st birthday in Spain. Authorities rule her death an accident. Years later, questions arise after a TV segment airs about someone she was with that night.

Listen to Season 2 of WBEZ’s Motive podcast. Episodes are released every Friday. Click here for Episode 2, and check back next week for the latest episode.

The Story

This new season of Motive, an investigative podcast series from WBEZ Chicago, begins on Lauren Bajorek’s 21st birthday in Seville, Spain, where she was studying abroad during the summer of 2015. She went out to celebrate with her friends, but never came home. It was discovered she’d fallen off the balcony of her Spanish tour guide’s apartment. Bajorek’s death was deemed an accident and the case was closed.

But three years later in April 2018, Bajorek’s friends were watching a segment on The Megyn Kelly Today show on NBC, which featured Gabrielle Vega, a young woman who claimed that her Spanish tour guide drugged and raped her while she was studying abroad in Spain. It was the same tour guide whose balcony Bajorek had fallen from in 2015.

Screen grab from Megyn Kelly Today
Gabrielle Vega appeared on Megyn Kelly TODAY on April 11, 2018, and alleged that she was raped by a tour guide. Screen grab from Today.com / NBC

In the days following the NBC segment, more than 30 women contacted Vega and her lawyer. They said they too were subject to sexual comments or harassment and, in some cases, to being drugged and raped by this same tour guide.

Their untold stories, along with the questions surrounding the night of Bajorek’s death, inspired WBEZ journalists Candace Mittel Kahn and Alexandra Salomon to embark on a year-long investigation for the Motive podcast.