Bodies found during search for Australian brothers in Mexico

Three bodies have been found in an area of ​​northern Mexico where two Australian brothers and a friend went missing.

Mexican authorities confirmed Saturday that the bodies were located on a cliff on the Baja Peninsula, on the country’s Pacific coast.

Forensic tests will be conducted by the local laboratory to determine whether the bodies are missing Perth siblings Callum and Jake Robinson, the Baja California prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Investigators continue to search the rugged area where the bodies were found for additional evidence, the statement said.

Local news site Zeta reported that bodies were found on Saturday in a well in the La Bocana area, near where the men were said to have camped after abandoned tents were found on Friday.

Firefighters reportedly worked for hours to free the bodies from the 50-foot-deep pit.

Zeta also reported that a fourth, highly decomposed body was found in the well. It is believed to be that of the owner of the property where the well is located, who has been missing for several weeks.

The Robinson brothers, both in their 30s, were on a surfing holiday in the region when they failed to check into pre-arranged accommodation near the city of Ensenada.

Their mother Debra Robinson appealed for help finding her two sons and an American friend they were traveling with, saying she had not heard from them since Saturday.

“Callum has type 1 diabetes, so there is also a medical problem,” she wrote on Mexican social media.

Baja California State Chief Prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez said police have questioned three people in connection with their disappearance.

“Unfortunately, their disappearance was only reported in the last few days, so very important hours were lost there,” she told a news conference in Mexico on Friday.

Investigators have found a burnt-out white ute believed to be the vehicle the men were traveling in when they disappeared.

Ms Andrade Ramírez confirmed to ABC that a mobile phone belonging to one of the men was found while the three people were assisting in the investigation.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials said it was clearly a distressing time for the family, but the agency was in constant contact.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong reiterated that the government is doing everything it can to support the family

“I can indicate that our embassy in Mexico, as well as the Australian Federal Police, are working in support of local authorities, that my department is providing consular support to the families involved,” she told reporters on Saturday.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the ministry was trying to gather as much information as possible from Mexican authorities to inform the family.

“This is deeply disturbing for the Australian community, especially the family and friends of these two young Australians,” he told reporters on Saturday.

The brothers’ family are reportedly traveling from Perth to Mexico to be closer to the investigation, Nine Network reports.

The US State Department is also monitoring the investigation as one of the other missing men is American Carter Rhoad, 30 years old.

Both US and Australian authorities have urged people to exercise extreme caution when traveling to Baja California “due to the threat of violent crime”.

Drug cartels are known to operate in the region and the state’s chief prosecutor said “all lines of investigation” remained open.

In 2015, Western Australian surfers Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas were murdered, allegedly shot by gang members in the neighboring Sinaloa region, before their van and bodies were burned.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as well as opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham and WA Prime Minister Roger Cook, previously expressed concerns about the safety of the surfers and their wishes for their safe return.

By means of Savannah Meacham and Jacob Shteyman in Canberra with Reuters