Forensic teams airlifted human remains discovered in 45 bags from a ravine in western Mexico.
Jalisco state prosecutors on Thursday said the remains on the outskirts of Guadalajara, include features that appear to resemble those of several missing call center employees but were still subject to forensic tests to formally identify the bodies.
Authorities made the gruesome discovery earlier this week following a tip-off, part of a search for seven call center workers in their 20s and 30s who had disappeared. An eighth person, who is potentially linked to the group, is also missing.
Mexico’s security minister told reporters that initial investigations showed that the call center workers were “carrying out some type of real estate fraud and some type of telephone extortion.”
Authorities have been working to determine how many individuals the remains in the 45 bags belong to, their identities, and how they died.
Prosecutors added that difficult terrain had complicated the investigation.
According to government data, over 100,000 people are currently missing in Mexico, where organized crime has ravaged parts of the country. Jalisco state in particular is a hotbed for major cartels, including the Jalisco New Generation cartel and rivals Nueva Plaza.