The investigation into the slayings of two San Diego teens and their friend in a Tijuana neighborhood has led to the arrests of three men, Mexican authorities said Thursday.
The Baja California attorney general’s office said the victims — Christopher Alexis Gomez, 17, and Juan Suarez-Ojeda, 18, of San Diego, and Angel Said Robles, 17, of Tijuana — were in a third-floor apartment about 11 a.m. Nov. 24 with friends when several people burst inside and held and tortured the trio for about two hours before killing them.
The three suspects were identified only by their first names: Fabricio, Esteban Manuel and Alejandro, nicknamed “El Orejas.”
Authorities did not provide further information, including the cause of death or a possible motive.
The teens were found partially clothed with gunshot wounds to their heads, according to earlier reports. Said’s mother told Televisa Tijuana that the death certificate listed strangulation as the cause of death.
Gomez was a football player in his senior year at O’Farrell Charter High School in Encanto, and Suarez-Ojeda had recently graduated from Ingenuity Charter School, which shares the same campus. Suarez-Ojeda was dating Gomez’s sister.
Said attended Jose Vasconcelos high school in Tijuana and lived in the high-crime Lomas Verdes neighborhood where the killings occurred. Suarez-Ojeda was a frequent visitor to the area because his grandmother lives there; he and Said were longtime friends, family members said.
The three teens had apparently gone to a barbecue in Ensenada the night before, and the San Diegans were supposed to return home but didn’t. The last contact family had was apparently when Said called his mother with a mysterious message that they had lost their cellphones but were OK.
In the days after the slayings, their families expressed disbelief that the teens were specifically targeted, suspecting it was a case of mistaken identity.
Davis writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Union-Tribune staff writer Wendy Fry contributed to this report.