Mexico: Mysterious disappearance of tourists

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in San Diego, California, confirmed the discovery of the three deaths, but provided no further information about their possible identities. Santo Tomas was located 45 kilometers north of the coastal city of Ensenada. It is located approximately 80 miles south of the US-Mexico state border, near San Diego and Tijuana in the state of Baja California.

The missing were two Australian nationals, Jake and Calum Robertson, and a friend, American Jack Carter. They were last seen last Saturday. The trio had planned a camping and surfing vacation near Ensenada.

Mother sounded the alarm

Debra Robinson, the mother of the two brothers, eventually raised the alarm via Facebook when the trio failed to show up at their booked accommodation. In a Facebook group about Baja California, the woman wrote that she was contacting anyone who might have seen her sons; According to a report in the New York Times, 120,000 people read his message on Saturday.

Reuters/George Dunes

Forensic experts at the site where the bodies were found

According to media reports, a burnt-out pickup truck and cellphones belonging to the missing persons were found. Located in the far northwest of Mexico, between the Pacific Ocean and its tributary the California Gold, Baja California is a popular vacation destination for surfers, especially from the United States. It borders California and Arizona. However, the state has also been hit hard by Mexico’s drug war.

“Crucial hours” were lost in the search

Both Mexican and U.S. officials have refrained from providing detailed information about the discovery of the three deaths. Earlier Thursday, Baja California Attorney General Maria Elena Andrade Ramirez told a news conference that security officials were looking for three people linked to the tourists’ disappearance. However, much valuable time has passed since then. Many ‘vital hours’ were lost.

Emergency services search the beach

Reuters/George Dunes

Police officers searched the beach for the missing holidaymakers before the bodies were found

According to the Attorney General, three male bodies were found in a well about 15 meters deep near Santo Tomas on Friday morning (local time). There is “overwhelming” reason to believe tourists are missing. The forensic department wants to conduct DNA tests to clarify the case.

There may have been a deliberate attempt at theft

The possible motive is only speculated. It is possible, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing Mexican authorities that three suspected criminals wanted to steal a vacationer’s vehicle. When they refused, one of them shot them and then tried to hide the bodies. The suspect is in custody. The American newspaper quoted Ramirez as saying it was not an intentional act.

Horrible statistics

According to a report in the New York Times, a fourth male body was found near where the three bodies were found, but he has not yet been identified but has no connection to the case of the three surfers. In 2022, 192 U.S. citizens died in Mexico, the newspaper said, citing data from the State Department in Washington, most in accidents, while 46 were considered victims of violent acts.

Regardless, the crime statistics in the state on America’s southern border are significant. Baja California is the region with the highest number of car thefts in Mexico and the second highest number of homicides of any state, often related to drug trafficking or organized crime. An estimated 100,000 people have disappeared across Mexico.