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Mexican bodies probably miss Australians: official

Mexican authorities say the three bodies found in Baja California state are most likely two Australian brothers and a friend who went missing in the area.

Regional officials confirmed yesterday that the bodies were located on a cliff on the Baja Peninsula, on Mexico’s west coast.

Forensic tests will be conducted by the local laboratory to determine whether the bodies are missing Perth siblings Callum and Jake Robinson, the Baja California prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“All three bodies meet the characteristics to indicate with a high probability that they are both the American Carter Rhoad and the Robinson brothers from Australia,” Baja California Attorney General María Elena Andrade said yesterday.

She said that while the three bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition at the bottom of a pit more than 50 feet deep, “some physical descriptions give us that high probability.”

A fourth body was discovered in the well, although that body had been there longer and is not believed to be connected to this case, Ms. Andrade said.

Baja California prosecutors said Thursday they were questioning three people about the case.

Yesterday, authorities said criminal charges amounting to kidnapping had been filed against one of the three.

Andrade Ramírez, the chief prosecutor, said the evidence found with the abandoned tents was linked to the three people questioned about the missing foreigners.

News channel Milenio reported that Ramírez said the suspects appeared to have stolen the surfers’ truck and that some of its parts were found in another truck belonging to one of the suspects.

Investigators continue to scour the rugged area for additional evidence, officials said.

Local news site Zeta reported that bodies were found yesterday in a well in the La Bocana area, near where the men were said to have camped after abandoned tents were found on Friday.

Firefighters reportedly worked for hours to free the bodies from the pit.

Zeta also reported that a fourth, highly decomposed body found in the well is believed to be that of the owner of the property where the well is located, who has been missing for several weeks.

The Robinson brothers, both in their 30s, were on a surfing holiday in the region when they failed to check into pre-arranged accommodation near the city of Ensenada.

Their mother Debra Robinson appealed for help finding her two sons and an American friend they were traveling with, saying she had not heard from them since Saturday.

“Callum has type 1 diabetes, so there is also a medical problem,” she wrote on Mexican social media.

Investigators have found a burnt-out white ute believed to be the vehicle the men were traveling in when they disappeared.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials said it was clearly a distressing time for the family, but the agency was in constant contact.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong reiterated that the government is doing everything it can to support the family.

“I can indicate that our embassy in Mexico, as well as the Australian Federal Police, are working in support of local authorities, that my department is providing consular support to the families involved,” she told reporters yesterday.

Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said the department was trying to gather as much information as possible from Mexican authorities to inform the family.

“This is deeply troubling for the Australian community, especially the family and friends of these two young Australians,” he told reporters yesterday.

The brothers’ family are reportedly traveling from Perth to Mexico to be closer to the investigation, Nine Network reports.

The US State Department is also monitoring the investigation.

Both US and Australian authorities have urged people to exercise extreme caution when traveling to Baja California “due to the threat of violent crime”.