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Searchers: 42 bodies found in desert near the Mexican resort town of Puerto Penasco

Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 19:23:14-04

ROCKY POINT, MEXICO — Volunteer searchers say they have found more than three dozen bodies over the past three days in the desert near the Mexican resort town of Puerto Penasco.

Prosecutors in the northern border state of Sonora said late Thursday that at least four of the bodies are women.

Prosecutors said only one of the bodies was relatively recent; the others were "complete skeletons with clothing."

The bodies were found by a group of women who are volunteer searchers. The group is made up of relatives of missing people who investigate reports of clandestine burial sites.

On Friday, ABC15 spoke to a woman who is a volunteer with the group. She says over the course of three days, volunteers have found at least 44 bodies scattered throughout the desert region in the state of Sonora, which borders Arizona. The search has ended at least for the next few weeks---the funeral homes in Rocky Point are full right now and if they continue the search, they won't have anywhere to put them.

Because of deficient police investigations, such volunteer groups have been responsible for discovering mass graves and burial pits in many parts of Mexico.

Drug and kidnapping gangs use such pits to dispose of the bodies of victims or rivals.

Puerto Penasco is also known as Rocky Point. It is located on the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez.

While not as violent as some other parts of Mexico, Puerto Penasco has been known for Sinaloa drug cartel activity and a large-scale shootout between cartel gunmen and military forces occurred there in 2013.