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Slain Australian surfers’ bodies arrive in US on journey home

State prosecutors search the camping site of two Australians and an American murdered during a surfing trip to Mexico
State prosecutors search the camping site of two Australians and an American murdered during a surfing trip to Mexico - Copyright AFP/File Guillermo Arias
State prosecutors search the camping site of two Australians and an American murdered during a surfing trip to Mexico - Copyright AFP/File Guillermo Arias
Eduardo Jaramillo

The bodies of two Australian surfers murdered in Mexico were taken to the United States on Thursday to be delivered to their relatives for the long journey home.

The funeral home transporting the remains of brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, who were aged 30 and 33 respectively, confirmed that they had been transferred from Tijuana to San Diego where their parents were waiting.

The body of their 30-year-old American friend Jack Carter Rhoad, who was also murdered, was in the care of another funeral company.

The tourists had been camping in a remote beachside area in violence-hit Baja California state when they were killed in what investigators believe was an attempt to steal their pickup truck.

Their bodies were found last Friday in a cliff-top shaft with bullet wounds to the head.

On Wednesday, a Mexican court ordered the prosecution of the main suspect in the triple murder, Jesus Gerardo “N” — alias “El Kekas.”

The prosecution has said it is gathering evidence to charge two other suspects, who remain in detention for alleged possession of methamphetamine.

Baja California, located just south of California, is popular with US tourists thanks to its inviting beaches. 

It is also one of Mexico’s most violent states because of organized criminal gangs, although tourists are not usually their targets.

The parents of the two Australian brothers earlier this week urged well-wishers to use their memory as an inspiration to “live bigger, shine brighter and love harder.”

Speaking from California, Debra and Martin Robinson said that “the world has become a darker place” since the deaths.

Martin thanked friends and family in Australia and the United States who have offered “overwhelming support” since the men went missing.

With the ocean at their backs, mother Debra then struggled to read through prepared remarks.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Callum and Jake have been murdered,” she began, her voice cracking with emotion.

“Our hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us.”

She described Callum as a “lovable, larger-than-life character” who played professional lacrosse in the United States, where he became known as “the big koala.”

Jake was described as a “happy, gentle and compassionate soul, who was pursuing a career in medicine” and had a keen love for surfing and cricket.

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

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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