Mexican authorities are working to confirm if two bodies recently found inside a burned out van in the state of Sinaloa are the bodies of two Australian tourists that went missing while visiting that country.
Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, both 33-year-old surfers from Australia had traveled from Canada on a van with a third friend on their way to Mexico, Revista Proceso reported. The third friend did not go into Mexico.
The group was last seen on November 20th after they had taken a ferry form Baja California into Topolobampo, Sinaloa. The Australian tourists had planned to travel to arrive in Guadalajara Jalisco on November 21, but they never arrived.
Mexican authorities discovered a burned out van in the Sinaloa municipality of Novolato that was registered to Coleman and Lucas.
According to Proceso, the girlfriends of both Coleman and Lucas are expected to arrive in Sinaloa to oversee the legal process connected with identifying the men. According to Sinaloa authorities, the two bodies were burned so badly that DNA and dental records are needed to confirm if the two tourists are in fact the bodies from the van.
So far Mexican authorities have not publicly confirmed if the two bodies are in fact Coleman and Lucas.
Novolato, Sinaloa is part of a region called the Golden Triangle which is considered a major drug production area for the Sinaloa Cartel. Due to the area’s drug production, Sinaloa has long been considered a violent area where drug traffickers are able to operate with almost complete impunity.
Authorities have not released any information as to the motive for the surfer’s deaths.
The death of Coleman and Lucas comes at a time when the Mexican government is trying to portray an image of safety and prosperity while trying to minimize the raging violence taking place there.