At least eight bodies have been pulled from a well in northern Mexico, near the site where 20 people went missing late last week, including 16 members of a Colombian-style band, a state forensic official said today.
The official said the Nuevo Leon State Investigative Agency was working through the night at the site in the town of Mina near the northern city of Monterrey, and the body count could rise.
He said he could not confirm whether the bodies belonged to any of those reported missing.
Members of the band Kombo Kolombia and their crew were reported missing early on Friday after playing a private show in a bar in the nearby town of Hidalgo late on Thursday.
Authorities had been searching for two days when they came upon the well yesterday afternoon.
People living near the bar in Hidalgo municipality north of Monterrey reported hearing gunshots about 4am on Friday, followed by the sound of vehicles speeding away, said a source with the state agency.
The officials added that gunfire is common in the area, and said investigators found spent bullets nearby.
Relatives filed an official report about their missing loved ones on Friday, after they lost mobile phone contact with them following the performance on Thursday night. When family members went to the bar to investigate, they found the band members' vehicles still parked outside.
For three years, Kombo Kolombia have played a Colombian style of music known as vallenato, which is popular in Nuevo Leon state. Most of the group's musicians were from the area, and have held large concerts in addition to bar performances.
Nuevo Leon state officials said one of those missing is a Colombian citizen with Mexican residency.
Members of other musical bands, usually groups that performed "narcocorridos" celebrating the exploits of drug traffickers, have been killed in Mexico in recent years. But Kombo Kolombia did not play that type of music and their lyrics did not deal with violence or drug trafficking.