Mexican authorities had two people allegedly connected to the August disappearance of a Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter in Baja California, Mexico in custody Saturday.
The man and woman — only identified as Santos “N” and Fanny “N” — were arrested Thursday on a highway near Rosarito Beach south of Tijuana, and authorities believe they were the last two people to see Francisco “Frank” Aguilar, according to Border Report.
The suspects allegedly had Aguilar’s credit card when they were arrested, which had recently been used in Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.
Aguilar, a 20-year veteran of the LAFD, disappeared Aug. 20 from his condominium near Rosarito and has not communicated with family members since.
Santos and Fanny were allegedly recorded by the condominium’s surveillance cameras on the night Aguilar went missing, according to Border Report, a website which covers news related to the U.S.-Mexico border. It is owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. the nation’s largest local television and media company.
Baja California Chief Prosecutor Hiram Sanchez said the female suspect arranged a date with Aguilar, and when he arrived in his SUV to meet her near Rosarito, the male suspect “jumped” him to try to kidnap him, according to Border Report.
Blood was found in the vehicle, according to Border Report, and investigators believe Aguilar was likely shot as he tried to leave. The suspects deny meeting Aguilar, and authorities will continue to search for him as if he is alive.
“We are aware of the report of arrests made in Mexico related to firefighter Aguilar’s disappearance,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a statement provided to City News Service.
“Our thoughts are with the Aguilar family and we continue to cooperate with law enforcement and government officials involved in the case.”
Aguilar sent his family a picture of the beach when he arrived in Rosarito, but that was the last time they heard from him, CBS2 reported. His brother and cousin went to the condominium to check on him the next day.
“They had found things moved around in his condo, doors were open, picture frames were moved, it was kind of a scene like people were looking for something and they discovered two vehicles were missing, a laptop and a few more items,” Aguilar’s daughter, Bella, told CBS2 in September. The family filed a missing persons report with Mexican authorities.
Aguilar owns a condominium in San Antonio Del Mar, which is between Tijuana and Rosarito, his brother Gabriel told the Daily News.
LAFD spokesman Peter Sanders told reporters the department is cooperating in the search for Aguilar, who is assigned to Station 44 in Cypress Park.