Authorities in Mexico said four missing children who disappeared on their way to their elementary school have been found asphyxiated and buried at a ranch not far from their southern Mexico homes.
Two boys and a girl were sibling, and the fourth child was their neighbor on a hillside in the town of Tapijulapa, according to Sky News. They ranged in age from seven to 10, and authorities said the duct tape wrapped around their heads probably suffocated them.
The children's mothers became worried when they didn't return home from school on Tuesday afternoon and, when they went to talk to school officials, found out the four had never arrived, reported the Associated Press. The motive for the killings is still unclear, but investigators found no sign of sexual abuse or organ trafficking. The bodies were discovered in shallow graves at a ranch about two miles outside of town named "Honey and Milk," located in the Tacotalpa municipality.
Police were searching an area near a local river and visited the ranch, where the ground appeared to be disturbed, according to Channel 6 News. They soon discovered a hand, which led to the discovery of the graves.
The AP reported that Anita Gomez Perez, whose 7-year-old son Samuel was one of the victims, wept when she told reporters that she usually went with her child to school, "but that day, I don't know what happened to me. He didn't want to go to school, he didn't want to get up, and I told him to get dressed so they would not mark him down."
According to Sky News, police are questioning the ranch owner, seven workers and the children's mothers. No arrests have been made.
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