Men believed to be missing surfers died from gunshots, Mexican officials say | Mexico

The bodies believed to be those of the two Australians and an American who went missing in the Pacific coast state of Baja California showed the three men were killed with gunshots to the head, Mexican authorities said on Sunday.

María Elena Andrade Ramírez, the state’s attorney general, said the families of the missing men had arrived in Tijuana to verbally identify the bodies. Authorities expect to have official confirmation shortly.

The preliminary hypothesis of the investigation is that the missing men were attacked by people who wanted to steal their car.

Dr Ramón Álvarez Martínez said that the bodies displayed injuries that suggested resistance.

Three Mexican nationals have been detained, one of whom has been charged with kidnapping.

The other two are being held for possession of crystal meth, though Andrade Ramírez did not discard the possibility that they were linked to the crime.

“In fact, we are sure that more people took part in the attack,” said Andrade Ramírez, who said officials would soon be able to provide more information about advances made in the investigation.

Perth siblings Callum and Jake Robinson, both in their 30s, were travelling in the region on a surfing holiday, with their friend Jack Carter Rhoad, a US citizen. The trio were reported missing when they failed to check into pre-arranged accommodation near the city of Ensenada last weekend.

Friends and family appealed on social media for any information on their whereabouts, saying it was “out of character” for them not to be in contact.

The missing men’s tents and burned-out truck were found on Thursday, by a remote stretch of coastline.

On Friday, four bodies were found in a covered-up well on isolated ranch land six or seven kilometres from where the missing men’s car was found.

Three of the bodies had been there five to seven days before they were found on Friday. A fourth body was also found in the well, which was estimated to have been there 15 to 30 days.

Andrade Ramírez said that authorities did not believe the attackers knew the victims were tourists, and emphasised that Baja California was still safe for tourists.

In 2023, Mexico saw more than 30,000 homicides for the sixth consecutive year. More than 100,000 people are also missing.

In 2015, Western Australian surfers Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas were murdered, believed to have been shot by gang members in the neighbouring Sinaloa region before their van and bodies were burnt.

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