A Los Angeles firefighter who was allegedly kidnapped by a couple in Mexico has been found dead more than two months after he vanished.
Mexican authorities said Francisco Aguilar, 48, was killed by a man and woman before he was brought to a highway in Tijuana — where they burned his body, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Officials found the charred remains Oct. 23, then notified his family Wednesday after confirming it was Aguilar.
Aguilar, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, had been missing since Aug. 20, when he disappeared while visiting his condominium in Baja California.
Prosecutors said they believe that two Mexican residents, a 32-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man — identified only as Fanny “N” and Santos “N” — gunned him down in a botched abduction.
“Things didn’t turn out like they thought they would,” Baja California state prosecutor Hiram Sanchez Zamora said Wednesday at a press conference.
He previously said his office believes the woman arranged a date with Aguilar but when he showed up, her male accomplice jumped him in a kidnapping attempt.
“He somehow managed to get rid of his captors, tried to run, and as he ran, they shoot and injure him and put him in the van,” he said.
Investigators located the couple after they discovered Aguilar’s credit cards had been used in Rosarito, Ensenada and Tijuana after his disappearance.
They were arrested in connection with his disappearance in October, before a body was found, though it’s unclear what charges they’re facing in the case.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said Wednesday the discovery of Agular’s body was a “tragic outcome to a case we were hoping would end differently.”
“On behalf of the men and women of the LAFD, we send our deepest condolences to Firefighter Aguilar’s family and we stand ready to assist them in the days to come,” Chief Ralph Terrazas told the newspaper.
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