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Mexico finds three bodies during search for missing tourists

  • Author, André Rhoden-Paul
  • Role, BBC news

Mexican authorities have found three bodies in an area in Baja California where two Australian brothers and an American went missing.

The FBI said the bodies were found in the city of Santo Tomas and have not yet been identified, CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, reported.

Jake, 30, and Callum Robinson, 33, from Perth, and American Jack Carter Rhoad, 30, were on a surfing holiday near the popular tourist town of Ensenada. They disappeared on April 27.

On Thursday, Mexican police questioned a woman and two men in connection with their disappearance.

Forensic tests will be conducted by a state laboratory to identify the bodies, the Baja California state prosecutor’s office said.

The office also noted on Friday that arrest warrants had been issued for the crime of enforced disappearance.

Previously abandoned tents, a burned-out white pickup truck and a phone linked to the missing tourists had been found.

A search party, including firefighters, was looking for the Robinson brothers and Mr Rhoad in a remote cliff area.

In a statement to CBS News, the FBI said it “cannot comment on the details” but “we can assure you that we are investigating every tip.”

“If it is credible, we will follow these leads closely. We are in contact with the family of the American citizen and we stand firm with our international law enforcement partners in finding answers,” the agency added.

Baja California is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where local drug gangs wage wars. But the surf conditions in Ensenada — 90 minutes south of the U.S.-Mexico border — have long attracted tourists from California.

A US State Department spokesperson said: “We are aware of these reports and are monitoring the situation closely.”

An Australian Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said their embassy in Mexico is working closely with Mexican authorities and the Australian Federal Police.

Image caption, Ensenada is located 90 minutes south of the US-Mexico border