Authorities Investigating Disappearance of Missing Americans
INDIO- The Coachella family of three missing Americans in Mexico say authorities have been little help in locating their loved ones, but authorities tell KMIR6 they are now investigating the case.
Roberto Munoz, wife Cecilia Munoz and their grandson, who they raised as their son, Armando Salinas were last heard from driving back to the United States from Mexico nearly a month ago. Family members say the missing relatives said they would be driving towards the notorious border town Ciudad Juarez, but border records show the family never passed through the port of entry there.
Coachella Valley relatives say they are making calls to American authorities daily, with few returned.
"Like they are not important enough for them to stop and look for them. That's the way it makes me feel, like we are not important," said Frances Ortega, sister of Cecilia Munoz.
In a statement issued by The State Department, an official writes, "The U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez is in close contact with the families. The mission is engaged and working with Mexican authorities to locate the Americans."
The family says authorities have told them not to go to Mexico and search themselves because of the dangers. An FBI spokesperson confirms that the agency is coordinating with Mexican authorities on the case.
The cell phones of all three of the missing have been turned off. The family has also checked hospitals and jails, but there has been no trace of their relatives. The family says their relative's vehicle-a 2003 green Ford F-150-as not been recovered either. The missing relatives were also traveling with 5 small dogs, which are also missing.
The family says as they wait for answers, every scenario plays out in their minds.
"If there's going to be ransom, let us know we'll do whatever to get them back, but if their laying somewhere and if they're dead we want to know too, because we want to have closure," said Ortega. "We want them home so we can give them a decent burial, a Christian burial."
-Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.