Three bodies reportedly found in northern Mexico where Perth brothers went missing

Estimated read time 4 min read

Three bodies have reportedly been found in an area of northern Mexico where two Australian brothers and an American friend are missing.

Reuters cited two sources with knowledge of the investigation as saying Mexican authorities had found three bodies in Baja Peninsula. The bodies were reportedly found near a cliff, but have not yet been formally identified.

Perth siblings Callum and Jake Robinson, both in their 30s, were travelling in the region on a surfing holiday, with friend, US citizen, Carter Rhoad. The trio was reported missing when they failed to check into pre-arranged accommodation near the city of Ensenada last weekend.

The Robinson brothers’ last contact with their family was last Saturday.

Friends and family appealed on social media for any information on their whereabouts, saying it was “out of character” for them not to be in contact.

On Friday, the Australian brothers’ parents, Debra and Martin Robinson, said they were “heading to the US/Mexico to be as close as possible to the area where they were last seen”.

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“Callum and Jake are beautiful human beings,” they said in a statement to media.

“We love them so much and this breaks our heart. Our only comfort right now is that they were together doing something they passionately loved.”

Baja California state chief prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez said the chances of finding the men had diminished as a result of delays to the investigation.

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

Three Mexican nationals, a woman and two men, have been arrested in relation to the disappearance of the three men.

The woman was arrested in the town of Maneadero, about eight km south of Ensenada city on Mexico’s Pacific coast. She was carrying a grey iPhone with a picture of a man matching the description of one of the missing men, as well as a small quantity of drugs.

Investigators have found abandoned tents believed to have belonged to the missing men near to where they were last seen. Andrade Ramírez said also at the same site “other evidence was found that could be linked to these three people we have under investigation”.

Investigators have also found a burnt-out ute, matching the description of the one the three men were driving, on a ranch in nearby Santo Tomás.

A spokesperson from Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade told the Guardian “the Australian embassy in Mexico City is working closely with the Australian Federal Police and local authorities regarding the two Australians reported missing in Mexico”.

“The department … recognises this is a very distressing time for the family and is in regular contact with them to provide support.”

The department has urged people to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling 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.

The US state department said it was aware of a US citizen missing in the Baja California region of Mexico, and stood “ready to provide all appropriate assistance”.

“The US department of state and our embassies and consulates abroad have no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas.”

In reference to news reports that bodies had been recovered in the region where the men were last seen, a spokesperson said:

“We are aware of those reports and are closely monitoring the situation. At this time we have no further comment.”

In 2015, Western Australian surfers Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas were murdered, believed to have been shot by gang members in the neighbouring Sinaloa region, before their van and bodies were burnt.

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, as well as opposition foreign spokesman Simon Birmingham and WA Premier Roger Cook, expressed their concerns for the surfers’ safety and wishes for their safe return.

with AAP and Reuters


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