Surfers killed in likely carjacking, says Mexico

Surfers killed in likely carjacking, says Mexico

Authorities in Mexico have verified that the bodies of three tourists who were found dead in a well had been shot in the head.

Authorities think the men were assaulted while attempting to prevent their pickup truck from being stolen.

While on a surfing trip in Ensenada on April 27, Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, ages 30 and 33, as well as their American companion Jack Carter Rhoad, age 30, vanished.

Following their trip to Mexico to support law enforcement, the relatives of the three men recognized their remains on Sunday, according to a state prosecutor.

State prosecutor Maria Andrade of Baja California said that the perpetrators shot the visitors when they protested, wanting the car for its tires.

On Friday, their remains were discovered in a 4 m (15 ft) deep well in the village of Santo Tomás, around 6 km (4 miles) from the attack scene.

In the vicinity were discovered abandoned tents, a burned-out white pickup truck, and a phone connected to the missing surfers.

According to officials, a fourth body that had been discovered in the well for a lengthier period of time had nothing to do with the case.

Based on suspicion of direct or indirect involvement in the attack, two men and a woman have been placed under arrest. One individual has been accused of “forced disappearance” and has a criminal history.

The FBI had already announced that it was investigating the matter and communicating with foreign partners.

One of the most dangerous states in Mexico is Baja California, where drug gangs from the area engage in turf conflicts.

According to government estimates, in 2023, it had the second highest murder rate in the nation, after the state of Guanajuato.

Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the national secretary of defense, stated earlier this year that organized crime and drug trafficking were connected to 85–90% of homicides in Baja California.

However, the Ensenada region, which is recognized for its surfing conditions and is located around 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the US-Mexico border, is thought to be safer and has long drawn visitors from California.

According to Deborah and Martin Robinson, the brothers’ parents, Callum had been residing in the US in order to pursue his ambition of playing lacrosse professionally.

They announced on Friday that Jake was visiting him on “the trip of a lifetime” before beginning a new career as a doctor in Victoria.

“Jake and Carolum are lovely people. This hurts our hearts so badly since we love them so much.

In addition, friends of the brothers have sent several condolences on social media.

Callum was described as having a larger-than-life personality by his colleagues at the Stevenson University Lacrosse club.

“With his beautiful long hair and charming smile, he truly embodied the nickname ‘big koala’ – warm, friendly, and always there to lend a helping hand,” the club said in a statement.

Emily Horwath, his girlfriend, said that she had “shattered into a million pieces” in her heart.


“At this moment, I lack the words… She posted a picture of the couple on Instagram along with the caption, “I will love you forever.”

Happy photos of Carter Rhoad proposing to his partner less than a year ago were posted on social media.

He and the Robinson brothers had “brought immeasurable joy, love, and kindness” to the globe, according to a fundraising organized by his family’s friends.

According to Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers, the Robinson family is on the nation’s mind.

At a press conference on Monday, he stated, “It has been an absolutely horrendous, absolutely horrific ordeal and our thoughts are with all of them today.”

The Ensenada region is feeling fear and fury as a result of the deaths.

Numerous demonstrators with surfboards covered with Spanish-language messages marched through the city on Sunday.

One stated, “We demand safe beaches; they just wanted to surf.” Another person added, “Australia, we are with you.”

Later, as a way to honor the three, a group of surfers held an ocean vigil known as a “paddle-out” ritual.

Australian surfers have lost their lives while vacationing in Mexico before.

When Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman resisted a robbery attempt in northwest Sinaloa state in 2016, they were killed.

A few weeks later, their burned-out camper vehicle held their remains.

Mexico’s foreign ministry said on X, the previous Twitter platform, that its ambassador to Australia had visited Baja California to assist the relatives of the victims and collaborate with Australian consular officials.

According to data from the State Department, at least 1.6 million American citizens reside in Mexico, which is also the most popular travel destination for Americans worldwide, with over 30 million visits expected in 2022

46 of the 192 American deaths in Mexico in 2022—the final year for which complete State Department statistics is available—were determined to be murders.

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