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3 surfers shot in the head while visiting Mexico were found dead in a well, in an area where tourists are usually safe

Rachel Hosie   

3 surfers shot in the head while visiting Mexico were found dead in a well, in an area where tourists are usually safe
  • Three men were found dead in a well in Baja California, Mexico, after being shot on a surfing trip.
  • Officials believe the tourists were attacked by three people who attempted to steal their truck.

Three men in their early 30s have been found dead in a well after being shot in the head while on a surfing trip in Baja California, Mexico.

Two Australian brothers, Callum and Jake Robinson, and their American friend, Jack Carter Rhoad, were near the popular coastal town of Ensenada when they went missing last week.

Their bodies were found in the 15-foot-deep well on Saturday after a dayslong search, and have since been identified by family members, Reuters reported.

Jake, 30, had flown to the US to visit Callum, 33, who was pursuing his dream of being a professional lacrosse player. The week after his trip, Jake was due to start a new job as a doctor in Victoria, Australia. Carter Rhoad, 30, was working as an apparel designer in San Diego, the New York Post reported.

They were last seen on 27 April and, when they didn't show up to an Airbnb booking a couple of days later, were reported missing and an investigation was launched by local authorities and the FBI.

It's thought that the tourists were attacked after they defended themselves from three people who were trying to steal their truck.

Baja California state prosecutor Maria Andrade suggested that the attackers wanted the truck for its tires and shot the three men in their heads when they resisted, Reuters reported.

A burnt-out vehicle suspected to be the surfers' truck was also found in the area, alongside abandoned tents, and a phone linked to them.

Three Mexican nationals, two men and a woman, have been arrested as suspects.

A fourth body was also found in the well, but it's believed to be older and from an earlier incident, the Guardian reported.

Turf wars between drug gangs are common in Baja California, which is one of Mexico's most dangerous and violent states. However, Ensenada is generally considered to be safe — about 75 miles south of California, it is a popular spot for US tourists.

The surfers' loved ones have paid tribute

Friends and family of the Robinsons and Carter Rhoad have been sharing tributes to the young men.

"Callum and Jake are beautiful human beings. We love them so much and this breaks our heart," the brothers' parents said in a statement, the BBC reported.

Callum's teammates from Stevenson University Lacrosse Club said in a statement on social media: "With his beautiful long hair and charming smile, he truly embodied the nickname 'big koala' — warm, friendly, and always there to lend a helping hand."

His girlfriend, Emily Horwath, said in an Instagram story that her heart was "shattered into a million pieces."

"I don't have the words right now... I will love you forever," she wrote.

Protesters and mourners took to the streets of Ensenada on Sunday to share their sadness and anger.

They marched with messages on surfboards, such as "They only wanted to surf — we demand safe beaches."

Surfers also held a "paddle out" ocean vigil in memory of the Robinsons and Carter Rhoad.

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