RTL Today – Bodies found in Mexico probably of missing surfers: authorities

The physical characteristics of three bodies found in the Mexican state of Baja California resemble those of two Australian brothers and their American friend who went missing during a surfing trip, local authorities said Saturday.

Public prosecutor Maria Elena Andrade said the bodies, found in a shaft atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, were in an “advanced state of decomposition,” making identification difficult.

“But,” she added, “given their clothing and certain characteristics, such as long hair and specific physical descriptions, there is a good chance that the bodies are in fact those of the three missing men.

While another body was found at the location, investigators determined it had been there for some time and was not related to the latest disappearances.

Brothers Callum and Jake Robinson had been on a surfing holiday with their American friend Jack Carter when they disappeared a week ago near the city of Ensenada.

The bodies were found Friday near the town of Santo Tomas, about 45 kilometers southeast of Ensenada, in a spot difficult to reach but popular with surfers.

Mexican authorities, who arrested three suspects, conducted the investigation in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Australian Consulate.

Andrade said one line of inquiry is whether the deaths resulted from an attempt to steal their pickup. The vehicle, which was burned out, was found nearby.

A spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs previously said it is in regular contact with the families of the missing Australians and that it “recognizes that this is a deeply distressing time.”

Baja California’s resorts are popular with American tourists, partly because of their proximity to the border. Although cartel activity is high in the area, it generally does not affect foreign tourists.

Rising criminal violence in Mexico has claimed 450,000 lives and led to more than 100,000 disappearances since late 2006, when the federal government launched a controversial anti-drug strategy involving military forces.