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Latino Daily News

Monday January 28, 2013

MEXICO: Found Bodies May be Those of Missing Musicians

MEXICO: Found Bodies May be Those of Missing Musicians

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Four bodies found in a well in Mina, a city in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, may be those of the Kombo Kolombia band members reported missing last week, security officials said Monday.

“We cannot officially confirm that they are the bodies belonging to that group; however, indications are that it may be them,” state security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

A band member who escaped from the criminals who apparently kidnapped the group took police to the ranch where the well is located, Domene said.

The ranch is about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from another ranch where the musicians were seen for the last time and more bodies may be at the site, Domene said.

The group, which plays Colombian music, performed at a private function Thursday night at the La Carreta bar in Hidalgo, a city next to Mina.

Relatives of the 16 musicians and four support workers lost track of the group early Friday and reported them missing to police.

Investigators searched for the group all weekend and were led to the ranch in Mina on Sunday afternoon by a band member who managed to escape.

The musician was beaten but is out of danger, Domene said, without explaining how the man managed to escape.

Three state emergency management office mountain rescue teams began the process of removing the bodies from the well on Sunday.

The crew had to stop working at sunset and resumed the recovery operation on Monday morning, an emergency management office spokesman said.

The bodies found at the ranch are being taken to the coroner’s office, which will perform DNA tests to confirm the victims’ identities.

Heimer Gonzalez, a Colombian musician, performed with the group, but it is not known if he was with his bandmates on Thursday night, a spokesman for the Colombian Consulate in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, told Efe.

“Some garments that match the musical group” were found at the ranch, but investigators are still trying to confirm the victims’ identities, Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said.

Kombo Kolombia is known across the region for its performances of Colombian music and has appeared at the popular Internacional, La Eternidad and El Sabino Gordo clubs, all of which have been attacked by drug cartels.