Seven bodies found in a burned truck outside of Celaya, Guanajuato, Tuesday night belong to a group of banda musicians who disappeared earlier the same day.
Los Chuparrecio, a family musical group, set out from the community of Juan Martín at 3 p.m. on Tuesday headed for a gig in Rancho Seco, a town just outside of Celaya. But the band never made it to their destination. Family members said they stopped answering their cell phones an hour after they left home.
Then around 11 p.m., a different truck was set on fire in the community of San José el Nuevo, a town on the way to the Chuparrecio’s gig. Inside were seven badly burned bodies, with their hands tied with wire. Nearby, there was another body: a man showing signs of torture.
Los Chuparrecio set out with six musicians and two staff members, all of whom were related. The group included three brothers and one minor, Juan Diego Pérez Maldonado, age 15. The state attorney general released an Amber Alert for Juan Diego the next day.
Their truck was found abandoned in Rancho Seco the next day, and their musical instruments were gone. The burned bodies in San José el Nuevo were found inside a red truck with Michoacán plates.
Family members of the musicians said they recognized their loved ones in pictures of the crime scene that circulated on social media and on Wednesday, a group of mothers, wives and siblings showed up at a regional prosecutor’s office.
A woman said that a body she saw in social media posts had clothing identical to what her husband was wearing that day.
One man identified his brother and another, his cousin, based on the clothing they could see in the online posts.
On Friday, state Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre confirmed that the seven burned bodies were, in fact, members of Los Chuparrecio. During a military event in Irapuato, he said in a brief interview that forensic evidence and information from the family had allowed officials confirm the identities.
Sophia Huett López, head of the state public security system, said on Thursday that while the number of victims matched, the bodies were so unrecognizable that genetic testing would be necessary to confirm their identities.
A tribute to the band published online on Thursday.