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Mexico: 3 bodies found in Baja California in search for foreigners

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities said Friday that three bodies had been found in an area of ​​Baja California near where two Australians and an American disappeared last weekend during an apparent travel trip. camping and surfing.

Prosecutors did not say whether the bodies were those of the three foreigners, but said the bodies were discovered during the search for the missing men. He also announced that three people interviewed in the case of the missing men had been arrested and charged.

“Three bodies were found south of the city of Ensenada, and they were recovered in coordination with other authorities during a specialized operation because they were found in an area with difficult access,” said the office in a press release.

“This was done as part of the search for two missing Australians and one American,” the office said.

The site where the bodies were discovered, near the municipality of Santo Tomás, was near a remote seaside area where the missing men’s tents and truck were found Thursday on a remote stretch of coast.

The men – identified by family members as brothers Jake and Callum Robinson from Australia and American Jack Carter Rhoad – went missing on Saturday. They did not show up to their planned accommodation this weekend.

The US State Department said: “We are aware of these (body) reports and are closely monitoring the situation. At this time we have no further comments.

Baja California prosecutors said Thursday they will question three people in the case. On Friday, the office said the three men were arrested and charged with a crime amounting to kidnapping. It was unclear whether they could face further charges.

María Elena Andrade Ramírez, the state’s chief prosecutor, said evidence found next to the abandoned tents was linked to the three people questioned about the missing foreigners.

“A task force (of investigators) is at the site where they were last seen, where tents and other evidence were found that could be linked to these three people we are investigating,” Andrade Ramírez said Thursday. “There is a lot of important information that we cannot make public.”

Even though drug cartels are active in the area, she said, “all avenues of investigation are open at this time.” We can’t rule anything out until we find them.

On Wednesday, the mother of the missing Australians, Debra Robinson, posted on a local community Facebook page a plea for help to find her sons. Robinson said Callum and Jake had not been heard from since April 27. They had booked accommodation in the nearby town of Rosarito.

Robinson said one of his sons, Callum, was diabetic. She also mentioned that the American who accompanied them was named Jack Carter Rhoad, but the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City did not immediately confirm this. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of a missing U.S. citizen in Baja, but gave no further details.

Andrade Ramírez said his office was in contact with Australian and American officials. But she suggested the time that had passed could make the search for the missing trio more difficult.

“Unfortunately, it was only in recent days that they were reported missing. So that meant important hours or time was wasted,” she said.

In 2015, two australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed in western Sinaloa state, across the Gulf of California – also known as the Sea of ​​Cortés – from the Baja Peninsula. Authorities said they were victims of highwaymen. Three suspects were arrested in this case.

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