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Mexico: Surfers found dead in well were shot in head

Image source, Instagram/@Callum10Robinson

Legend, Callum (left) and Jake Robinson disappeared in Mexico with their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad

  • Author, James Gregory and Tiffanie Turnbull
  • Role, BBC News

Three tourists found dead in Mexico were shot in the head and their bodies were thrown into a well, authorities have confirmed.

Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, 30 and 33, and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad, 30, disappeared on April 27 while on a surfing trip to Ensenada.

Relatives of the three men identified their bodies Sunday after traveling to Mexico to help authorities, a state prosecutor said.

Authorities believe the men were attacked while trying to stop their van from being stolen.

The attackers wanted the vehicle for its tires and shot at the tourists as they resisted, Baja California state prosecutor Maria Andrade suggested.

Their bodies were found Friday in a 4-meter-deep well, about 6 kilometers from the scene of the attack, in the town of Santo Tomás.

Abandoned tents, a burned white van and a phone linked to the missing surfers were found nearby.

A fourth body was found in the well, but it had been there longer and was not connected to the case, officials said.

Two men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of being directly or indirectly involved in the attack. A man has been accused of “enforced disappearance”.

Earlier, the FBI said it was investigating the case and was in contact with international partners.

Baja California is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where local drug gangs engage in internecine wars.

But the Ensenada region, located about 75 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border and known for its surfing conditions, is considered safer and has long attracted California tourists.

The brothers’ parents – Deborah and Martin Robinson – said Callum was living in the United States, pursuing his dream of becoming a professional lacrosse player.

Jake was taking “the trip of a lifetime” to visit her before starting a new job in Victoria as a doctor, they said on Friday.

“Callum and Jake are beautiful human beings. We love them so much and it breaks our hearts.

Friends of the brothers also flooded social media with tributes.

Callum’s teammates at the Stevenson University lacrosse club said the athlete was a larger-than-life personality.

“With his beautiful long hair and charming smile, he truly embodied the nickname ‘big koala’: warm, friendly and always there to lend a helping hand,” said a club press release.

His girlfriend, Emily Horwath, said his heart was “broken into a million pieces.”

“I don’t have the words right now… I will love you forever,” she wrote in a post on Instagram, alongside photos of the couple.

Carter Rhoad’s social media accounts showed happy snaps of him proposing to his partner less than a year ago.

A fundraiser organized by family friends said he and the Robinson brothers had “brought immeasurable joy, love and kindness” to the world.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the country was thinking of the Robinson family.

“This has been an absolutely horrible, absolutely horrible ordeal and our thoughts are with them all today,” he said at a news conference on Monday.

These killings have sparked fear and anger in the Ensenada region.

Dozens of protesters marched through the city on Sunday, brandishing surfboards covered with slogans written in Spanish.

“They just wanted to surf. We demand safe beaches,” said one. “Australia, we are with you,” said another.

A group of surfers then held a “paddle-out” ceremony, an ocean vigil in honor of the trio.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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