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Man charged over surfer deaths told girlfriend he killed ‘three gringos’, court hears – National
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Man charged over surfer deaths told girlfriend he killed ‘three gringos’, court hears – National

A man accused of killing three men who were surfing in Mexico confessed to the crime to his girlfriend, according to testimony read out in court on Wednesday.

The man, identified as Jesús Gerardo ‘N’, who also goes by the alias ‘El Kekas’ – a slang word for quesadillas – was soon charged with the enforced disappearance of Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad . before the missing men were found dead. Prosecutors are expected to file murder charges soon. Mexican authorities do not release the surnames of people involved in ongoing criminal cases.

The three men were found with gunshot wounds to the head at the bottom of a 50-foot pit about four miles from their campsite. They were surfing and camping together on the coast of Baja California when they were last heard from on April 27. A search was launched on land and at sea, which lasted almost a week before their bodies were found.

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Prosecutors believe they were victims of a violent carjacking.

The photos of the foreign surfers who disappeared and were later found dead, posted on the beach of Ensenada, Mexico, Sunday, May 5, 2024.

AP Photo/Karen Castaneda

The key witness in the prosecution’s case is El Kekas’ girlfriend, whose testimony was read out in court on Wednesday. She told investigators that on the night of April 27, he left the house in her Ford Ranger pickup and returned in another vehicle — the victims’ pickup, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

El Kekas told her he had “eaten three gringos,” when she informed him of what that meant, he said he had “killed them,” according to reports from the BBC and 1News.

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He then allegedly gave her a cell phone, which belonged to one of the men, and left to dispose of the victims’ car. The pickup was later found by investigators burned and without tires. El Kekas allegedly returned home and took his girlfriend outside to show her the four new tires on her Ford Ranger. “Look what I brought you,” he is said to have said.

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El Kekas was arrested on May 3 and brought in for questioning by police after investigators found the victims’ burned campsite, which showed signs of a violent struggle. According to Mexican newspaper El País, two others are also in custody: El Kekas’ girlfriend and his brother, although investigators are investigating whether more people were involved in the attack.

Blurred photo of Jesús Gerardo ‘N’, a Mexican man accused of the enforced disappearance of three surfers who went missing in Baja California on April 27, 2024.

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA

The Ford Ranger pickup allegedly used by the attackers was searched and a handgun was found inside. According to prosecutors, a shot was recently fired in the case.

El Kekas has yet to enter a plea in court.

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In addition to burned tents, investigators found gun casings, bloodstains and drag marks at the victims’ campsite. Baja prosecutors believe Rhoad and the Robinson brothers got into an argument after noticing their vehicle being ransacked and shot in the head by the armed robbers.

After a multi-day search, they were found in a boarded-up pit about four miles from the campsite in an “extremely” remote area. Inside were four bodies: the three missing tourists, and a fourth, older body.

The bodies of the three men had likely been in the well for five to seven days by the time they were found, NBC San Diego reported, citing a local medical examiner. The fourth body had been there much longer and could be from an unrelated murder case.

After the bodies were found, members of the local surfing community in Ensenada, near where the three men had camped, gathered on the beach to pay their respects to the dead surfers.

“Ensenada is a mass grave,” read one protester’s poster.

“They just wanted to surf – we demand safe beaches,” read another sign.

The Robinson brothers’ parents traveled from Perth, Australia to Mexico to identify their sons’ remains. At a Tuesday memorial ceremony in Ocean Beach, one of Callum’s favorite surf spots in San Diego, Debra Robinson said their “hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us,” with her husband by her side.

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“They were young men enjoying their passion together: surfing,” Debra said. “Now it’s time to take them home to family and friends, and to the ocean waves in Australia.”

Brothers Callum and Jake Robinson in photos shared on social media. The Australian Robinson brothers went missing in Mexico together with their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad (not in the photo) during a surfing trip. Mexican authorities said on May 2 that three people were being questioned in connection with the missing persons.

Facebook/Debra Robinson & Instagram/callum10robinson

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