Search for missing Mexico students finds more dead

Mexico Unearths 'Second Mass Grave'

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican authorities searching for 43 missing college students have found human remains in a new area of southern Guerrero state and are testing to see if they belong to the young men who last were seen in police custody a month ago, a government official said Monday.

Authorities came upon the new location based on statements from four people arrested early Monday, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The new remains were found in Cocula, a town about 10 miles (17 kilometers) from where the students last were seen.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed the four arrests in a press conference but made no mention of more remains or mass graves. He said some of those arrested could be members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel responsible for the actual disappearance of the students after an attack by local police. Two of the detainees said they received a large group of people around Sept. 26, the date the students went missing, Murillo Karam said.

Investigators were trying to confirm their statements. Mexico now has a total of 56 people in custody in the case.

The students from a rural teachers college disappeared after a confrontation with police in Iguala, a city about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City. Authorities say the attack was ordered by Jose Luis Abarca, the mayor of Iguala who is being sought by officials, along with his wife and the city's police chief.

Murrillo Karam has said the local officers took the students to a police station and then to Cocula. At some point, they were loaded aboard a dump truck and taken, apparently still alive, to an area on the outskirts of Iguala, he said.

Mexican authorities have mounted searches for the students, spurred by increasingly violent demonstrations that included the burning of Iguala's city hall by protesters last week. Before Monday's new discovery, investigators had found a total of 11 clandestine graves containing 38 sets of human remains in the hills of Pueblo Viejo in the municipality of Iguala. Initial DNA testing of the remains determined the bodies were not those of the missing students and officials were waiting for results of second round of tests.

The crime has shaken the country and drawn international criticism and protests for the involvement of officials and police. Last week, Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre stepped down under heavy criticism of the state's handling of the case and its political support of Abarca.

Rogelio Ortega Martinez, a sociologist and former university administrator, was named interim governor on Sunday.

The 59-year-old Ortega previously was secretary-general of Guerrero's state public university. Ortega is a former social activist and the son of a rural schoolteacher. He has close ties to the state's ruling Democratic Revolution Party.

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Search for missing Mexico students finds more dead
Cars remain on the Chilpancingo-Acapulco highway during a roadblock in demand of the appearance of 43 missing students in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. Desperate relatives of 43 missing university students have demanded a meeting with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, after nearly a month of searching that has yielded no trace of their loved ones. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
A masked student participates in a roadblock highway demanding the appearence of the 43 missing peers in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. Desperate relatives of 43 missing university students have demanded a meeting with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, after nearly a month of searching that has yielded no trace of their loved ones. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An artist paints a portarit of one of the 43 missing students at the Normal school Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. A month after the disappearance of 43 male college students in southern Mexico, the case that has revealed how deep drug traffickers infiltrate all aspects of life in the country still leaves many questions unanswered. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An artist paints a portarit of one of the 43 missing students at the Normal school Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. A month after the disappearance of 43 male college students in southern Mexico, the case that has revealed how deep drug traffickers infiltrate all aspects of life in the country still leaves many questions unanswered. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An artist paints a portarit of one of the 43 missing students at the Normal school Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. A month after the disappearance of 43 male college students in southern Mexico, the case that has revealed how deep drug traffickers infiltrate all aspects of life in the country still leaves many questions unanswered. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An artist paints a portarit of one of the 43 missing students at the Normal school Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. A month after the disappearance of 43 male college students in southern Mexico, the case that has revealed how deep drug traffickers infiltrate all aspects of life in the country still leaves many questions unanswered. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An artist paints a portarit of one of the 43 missing students at the Normal school Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. A month after the disappearance of 43 male college students in southern Mexico, the case that has revealed how deep drug traffickers infiltrate all aspects of life in the country still leaves many questions unanswered. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Masked students participate in a roadblock on the Chilpancingo-Acapulco highway demanding the appearence of the 43 missing peers in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 26, 2014. Desperate relatives of 43 missing university students have demanded a meeting with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, after nearly a month of searching that has yielded no trace of their loved ones. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Guerrero's state governor Angel Aguirre speaks during a press conference in Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014 after leaving his post citing he wants to clear the way for the investigation regarding the disappearance of 43 students almost a month ago. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/JESUS GUERRERO (Photo credit should read JESUS GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers stand guard at federal buildings before possible protests announced by the teachers' union in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Around 100 teachers occupied the city hall of the Mexican tourist resort of Acapulco to demand authorities find dozens of students who disappeared nearly a month ago. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers stand guard at federal buildings before possible protests announced by the teachers' union in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Around 100 teachers occupied the city hall of the Mexican tourist resort of Acapulco to demand authorities find dozens of students who disappeared nearly a month ago. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Hooded students take control of the tollbooths on the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway, as part of a protest in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Hooded students take control of the tollbooths on the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway, as part of a protest in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Hooded students (reflected on a vehicle's window) take control of the tollbooths on the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway, as part of a protest in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Hooded students take control of the tollbooths on the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway, as part of a protest in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 23, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. Mass demonstrations have taken place in Mexico since the night the youths disappeared on September 26 in the town of Iguala, which shares the state of Guerrero with Acapulco -- a case that has sparked national and international outrage. AFP PHOTO/ Pedro PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTUBRE 22: A woman holds a candle during a protest for 43 missing students on October 22, 2014, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Students from Guadalajara protest in response to 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa who disappeared on the 26 September in Mexico.The 43 students were last seen near the town of Iguala, Guerrero, being led away by municipal police officers. Allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime has sparked the country into protest. (Photo by Leonardo Alvarez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
XALAPA, VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 2014/10/22: Veracruz students took to the streets to demand the return of the 43 missing students (normalistas) in enforced disappearance by municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. (Photo by Raul Mendez Velazquez/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTUBRE 22: People protest during a protest for 43 missing students on October 22, 2014, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Students from Guadalajara protest in response to 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa who disappeared on the 26 September in Mexico.The 43 students were last seen near the town of Iguala, Guerrero, being led away by municipal police officers. Allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime has sparked the country into protest. (Photo by Leonardo Alvarez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 22: Demonstrators hold banners of missing students during a protest against the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero on October 22, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 22: A demonstrator hold a banner of missing students during a protest against the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero on October 22, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People take part in a march October 22, 2014 in Mexico City demanding justice for the 43 missing students. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in a march demanding justice for the 43 missing students along a street in Mexico City on October 22, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in a march October 22, 2014 in Mexico City demanding justice for the 43 missing students. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A sign reading 'I am a student and it hurts Ayotzinapa' is displayed during a vigil outside the Mexican embassy in Guatemala City on October 22, 2014 demanding the safe return of 43 students who went missing in southern Mexico this past September. Mexico faces growing international pressure to solve the disappearance of 43 students who vanished after they were attacked by police linked to a drug gang. AFP PHOTO/Johan ORDONEZ (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) members participate in a protest on October 22, 2014 in Oventic, Chiapas state, Mexico to demand the appearence of 43 missing students. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/ ELIZABETH RUIZ (Photo credit should read ELIZABETH RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
People hold lanterns and banners with pictures of the 43 missing students while participating in a march along a street in Mexico City on October 22, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican Federal Police members check goods looted earlier today by local residents from the Plaza Tamarindos store --property of the former Mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca-- in Iguala, Guerrero State, on October 22, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/JESUS GUERRERO (Photo credit should read JESUS GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican Federal Police members stand guard at the Plaza Tamarindos --property of the former Mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca-- after residents looted the store in Iguala, Guerrero State, on October 22, 2014. Mexican authorities ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, his wife and an aide, charging them with masterminding last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. AFP PHOTO/JESUS GUERRERO (Photo credit should read JESUS GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam gestures during a press conference at the Attorney General building in Mexico City on October 22, 2014. Iguala's mayor Jose Luis Abarca was accused on Wednesday of ordering attack on missing students. Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26 in this town of some 140,000 inhabitants. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam arrives for a press conference at the Attorney General building in Mexico City on October 22, 2014. Iguala's mayor Jose Luis Abarca was accused on Wednesday of ordering attack on missing students. Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26 in this town of some 140,000 inhabitants. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
The Mayor of Teloloapan Ignacio Valladares is pictured during an interview at the Municipal Palace, in Teloloapan, Guerrero State, Mexico, on October 19, 2014. The Federal police took the control of 13 municipalities of Guerrero State. Mexico faced growing international pressure to solve the disappearance of 43 students who vanished after they were attacked by police linked to a drug gang. AFP PHOTO//RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican nationals shout slogans calling for the safe return of 43 students missing in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, outside the Mexican embassy in Buenos Aires on October 22, 2014. Mexican residents in Argentina and other groups of organizations that defend human rights gathered to demand the resignation of those considered responsible for the crime: the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, the governor of Guerrero, Angel Aguirre Rivero and the President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
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