Bodies of missing SoCal couple, 3 others found in Tijuana

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GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Tijuana authorities on Sunday said they found two bodies underneath a dirt floor just days after a missing Garden Grove couple was found buried nearby. A few days later, another body was discovered, bringing the total to five.

The five bodies were discovered under a room in the house. There was sand and mud on the corpses and white powder, believed to be lime, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

Fire department personnel and police dogs found the new bodies, which are believed to have been buried longer than Maria Lopez, 65, and Jesus Guillen, 70, the couple from Garden Grove who were found Friday, according to investigators.

Lopez and Guillen drove to Tijuana on Jan. 10 to collect rent from tenants and were scheduled to return the same day, said Garden Grove Police Department Lt. Carl Whitney.

When their daughter could not reach them, she tracked the two through a “find my phone” app for iPhones, and it showed that the couple was still at their Tijuana property, but a relative there said they weren’t around, Whitney said. Then the phone went dead.

The couple’s pickup truck was found near their property, he said.

Mexican authorities Friday announced the arrest of the couple’s son-in- law, identified only as Santiago N., who investigators said wanted to stage a kidnapping of the couple and collect ransom.

Prosecutors in Mexico said Santiago was deported from the United States in 2012 after serving time in jail for theft. He was scheduled to be charged with the disappearance and the deaths of Lopez and Guillen.

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