Mexican authorities charge 3 linked to disappearance of Australian brothers

Authorities in Baja California, Mexico, say they have charged three people in connection with the disappearances of two Australian surfers and their American companion who went missing last month. Photo by Government of Baja California/Wikimedia Commons
Authorities in Baja California, Mexico, say they have charged three people in connection with the disappearances of two Australian surfers and their American companion who went missing last month. Photo by Government of Baja California/Wikimedia Commons

May 4 (UPI) — Mexican officials on Saturday said they charged three people in connection with the disappearance of three tourists who went missing in Baja California last month.

The announcement comes after authorities on Friday found three bodies near a cliff on the Pacific coast in the area where the tourists reportedly went missing. The bodies have not yet been identified.

Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, and their American travel companion Jack Carter Rhoad were on a surfing and camping trip in the popular destination of Ensenada when they disappeared on April 27.

The men did not check into their AirBnb in Rosarito as scheduled, and Callum did not return to work in San Diego when he was expected, according to Mexican authorities.

Authorities found their white pickup truck burnt out on a ranch in the area. They also found abandoned tents where the men were believed to be staying.

Police earlier this week arrested two brothers and a woman romantically linked to one of them in connection to the investigation.

Ensenada Mayor Carlos Ibarra Aguiar said the woman was in possession of a cellphone with a photo of one of the missing men.

Baja California Attorney General María Elena Andrade Ramírez said authorities do not believe the men’s disappearance was linked to organized crime.

“We have a tourist influx, and a similar case has not occurred,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The brothers’ parents, Debra and Martin Robinson, said on Friday they were headed to Baja California to “be as close as possible to the area where they were last seen.”

“Our only comfort right now is that they were together doing something they passionately loved,” they said in a statement.

Baja California is a popular destination for surfers, but it also is plagued by violent drug cartels fighting turf wars. It is considered Mexico’s most dangerous state.