TACOTALPA, MEXICO (BNO NEWS) -- Four children who went missing in southeastern Mexico earlier this week have been found dead at a nearby ranch, and some of their organs may have been removed after their death, state officials said on Friday. No arrests have been made so far.
Tabasco state Attorney-General Gregorio Romero Tequextle said the four brothers went missing at around 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday when they left their house in the Tapijulapa community of the municipality of Tacotalpa to go to school. When the children failed to return home at 2 p.m., their mother became worried and contacted the school which reported that the boys did not attend their classes.
The children, all between the ages of 7 and 10, were reported missing to authorities on Wednesday after the mother had contacted relatives, friends, and neighbors without success. "Based on this complaint, the municipal police, the state's preventive police and the state police were given the task of investigating the whole area near the village of Tapijulapa," Tequextle said.
On Friday morning, police were searching an area near a local river and visited a ranch where the ground appeared to have been disturbed. Officers soon discovered a hand which led to the discovery of several shallow graves containing the bodies of the four young brothers.
The bodies were taken to the state's capital city of Villahermosa where an autopsy was performed. "It is understood the bodies are complete, i.e. no bodies were taken away and the forensic medical report puts the cause of death at anoxia caused by suffocation," Tequextle said. "I should point out that the children's faces were covered with masking tape, causing the suffocation."
Mexican media reported that some of the organs of the boys were removed, but authorities would not immediately confirm those reports. No arrests were immediately made, but Tequextle said arrests were expected soon.
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