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Three friends drove from California to Mexico for a surfing trip. Then they disappeared

Last month, two brothers and one of their friends crossed from the United States to Mexico to explore the famous surfing beaches of Baja California. One of the brothers, Callum Robinson, 33, posted photos from their trip to Instagram, showing the men gazing at the ocean with cups of coffee, enjoying street tacos and relaxing with a beer on a rooftop terrace.

After camping for a while, the friends were scheduled to check into an Airbnb in Rosarito Beach last weekend. But they never arrived. Their relatives say the last time they heard from the men was April 27.

Their disappearance in one of Mexico’s most violent states has sparked a massive search involving local authorities, the FBI and Mexican Marines.

“We’re looking for them on land and at sea,” said Baja California Atty. General María Elena Andrade Ramírez said this on Thursday. “We are doing everything we can.”

Authorities said they interviewed three people at the business and located the pickup truck the men were driving. At a news conference on Thursday, Andrade would not confirm whether the three people questioned were considered suspects. She said authorities had also recovered a mobile phone relevant to the investigation.

Callum, a lacrosse player, and his brother Jake, a 30-year-old doctor, are both Australian nationals. Their friend, Carter Rhoad, 30, is from Atlanta and has founded an online clothing company in San Diego, according to his Facebook profile.

The group was last seen near Santo Thomas, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Rosarito, authorities said.

Debra Robinson, Jake and Callum’s mother, took to social media to appeal for help, noting that Callum has diabetes. “This is a very dire situation,” she said.

Baja California’s rugged coastline and epic waves have long attracted surfers from north of the border. In recent years, the state has been plagued by violence, much of it linked to drug trafficking. Last year, authorities recorded 2,116 murders in the state, making it one of the highest murder rates in Mexico.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is in his final year as president, has promised to reduce violence in Mexico. Although homicide rates have fallen slightly nationally during his six-year term, they continue to hover around record highs.