California teens tortured, shot dead execution-style during trip to Tijuana
Two San Diego, California teens who took a day trip to Mexico to visit a friend last Friday were found dead in a Tijuana apartment Sunday morning in what is being investigated as a triple homicide.
Christopher Alexis Gomez, a 17-year-old football player at O’Farrell Charter High School, and Juan Suarez-Ojeda, a recent graduate of Ingenuity Charter School, set out on Nov. 23 to visit their friend, an 18-year-old Tijuana resident, according to the San Diego-Union Tribune.
Gomez and Suarez-Ojeda told family members that they planned to attend a barbecue in Ensenada, about 50 miles south of Tijuana, and would return to the U.S. on Friday night, according to Katheryn Garcia, a cousin of Gomez's.
When the two failed to show up or contact relatives, Garcia says the family frantically called authorities and then drove to Tijuana to search for them.
According to local media reports, the bodies of Gomez, Suarez-Ojeda and their friend, whose identity has not been released, were found early on Sunday morning after gunshots rang out at a housing complex in Tijuana.
Police responding to the scene discovered the three victims shot dead execution-style, wearing only their underwear, the San Diego-Union Tribune reports. The teens had all been tortured prior to their deaths, a Tijuana detective allegedly told relatives of Gomez. The motive behind the brutal murders still remains unknown.
"Everyone is devastated," Garcia told reporters. "This just feels so unreal."
"They're monsters," she said of her cousin's killers while choking back tears. "Who does that to three young boys who have their whole lives ahead of them?"
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help both families cover funeral arrangements and any other unexpected expenses.
Garcia also set up a separate GoFundMe just to help her cousin’s family, who she said was struggling to even afford to bring Gomez's body back to San Diego.
"I know how this story sounds, like something that people hear on the news: You go to Tijuana and this happens," Garcia told the San Diego-Union Tribune. "But he was the most selfless, kindest boy ever … This shouldn’t have happened to him."