Three bodies found in Baja California

A day-long search for three tourists who went missing near a surfing town near the U.S.-Mexico border continued Friday, with authorities announcing the discovery of three bodies.

Two Australian brothers and their American friend went missing on Saturday while on vacation surfing and camping along the Mexican coast near the city of Ensenada.

State Attorney General María Elena Andrade Ramírez said at a press conference Thursday that prosecutors are investigating the three people involved in the case, but that a critical period has passed since their disappearance.

“Unfortunately, it was only in the last few days that they were reported missing,” Andrade Ramirez told reporters. “That means important time and minutes have been lost.”

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Friday that authorities are aware of reports that an American national is missing in Baja California state, but did not provide further details.

Kira Boyd, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s San Diego field office, confirmed in an email that three bodies were found near the town of Santo Tomas, but did not say whether they were the missing tourists. Ta.

“We’re evaluating every tip,” Boyd said. “If it is reliable, we will rigorously pursue the lead.”

State Department: 192 American citizens to die in Mexico in 2022 the numbers show, but most of those deaths were accidents or suicides. Only 46 were ruled murders.

Baja California’s big waves have long attracted crowds of surfers and tourists, many of whom have been dealing with rising crime rates for nearly two decades.

But in recent years, record levels of violence have hit the state. According to Mexican government data, Baja California currently ranks No. 1 in vehicle thefts and No. 2 in murders, most of which are related to drug trafficking and organized crime, Mexico’s Secretary of Defense said. Luis Cresencio Sandoval announced this year.

Officials familiar with the investigation, who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the white pickup truck the missing tourists were traveling in was found charred near La Bocana Beach in Santo Tomas. Stated. Other belongings and evidence are also being analyzed, the official added.

The swift search for tourists was unusual in a country where nearly 100,000 people remain missing, according to the latest figures provided by Mexican authorities in March.

The majority of cases remain unsolved. Families and volunteers are left on their own to follow clues, but the presence of cartels and a lack of support from authorities make the search a dangerous mission.

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