Man accused of killing 3 surfers in Mexico allegedly told girlfriend ‘I f****ed up three gringos’

The bodies of brothers Callum and Jake Robinson, as well as US citizen Jack Carter Rhoad, were found dumped in a remote well in Baja California

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 09 May 2024 01:28 BST
'World a darker place for us', mother of Australian surfers killed in Mexico says
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A man arrested in connection with the deaths of two Australian surfers and their American friend in Mexico allegedly admitted carrying out the killings to his girlfriend.

The suspect, identified only by his first names of Jesus Gerardo, per Mexican law, reportedly told the woman that he had “F***** up three gringos,” prosecutors allege.

The bodies of brothers Callum and Jake Robinson were found in a remote well, after being killed by car thieves during a surfing and camping trip in Baja California, across the border from San Diego.

The brothers, 33 and 30 respectively, were found dead alongside their friend, US citizen Jack Carter Rhoad.

Prosecutors had identified three people as potential suspects in the killings, two of whom were caught with methamphetamines. One of them, a woman, had one of the victims’ cellphones when she was caught.

The bodies of brothers Callum (left) and Jake Robinson were found in a well after reportedly being killed by car thieves during a surfing and camping trip in Baja California, across the border from San Diego last month (9News/Instagram)

Prosecutors said the two were being held pending drug charges but continue to be suspects in the killings. They have been identified as 23-year-old Ari Gisell and Cristian Alejandro Garcia.

Jesus was the third man arrested and currently faces charges of a crime equivalent to kidnapping, though that was before the bodies were found. It is expected that the charges will soon be upgraded to murder.

Prosecutors said he has a criminal record that included drug dealing, vehicle theft and domestic violence. He is yet to enter a plea on charges relating to the three men’s disappearance.

According to Australian news network ABC, Jesus, also known as "El Kekas", appeared before a court in the Mexican city of Ensenada on Wednesday.

He wore an orange jumpsuit and white sneakers with his hands and feet handcuffed and chained to the floor, the outlet reported.

The judge read out the state’s case, in which Jesus’s then-girlfriend, Ari, has turned prosecution witness. The prosecution alleges that Ari Gisell, whose last name had also been suppressed, told authorities her then-partner had admitted to killing the three men.

The court heard she told investigators her former partner had arrived at her house on Sunday and told her "I f****ed up three gringos". She said, "What do you mean?" to which he replied, "I killed them".

US man Jack Carter Rhoads, a friend of the brothers, was also found dead along with them in Baja California (Supplied)

Prosecutors alleged he then gave her a mobile phone and said "Look what I got you", before taking her outside to show her the new tyres on her car. They had been allegedly stolen from the trio’s vehicle.

Mexican authorities previously said they believed the three men had been targeted for the tyres, along with cash and electronic valuables.

Chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez said on Sunday that she believed the killers drove by and saw the surfers’ pickup truck and tents, and wanted to steal the tyres. But “when (the foreigners) came up and caught them, surely, they resisted,” she added.

Following the killings the alleged thieves went to what she called “a site that is extremely hard to get to” and dumped the bodies into a well, they were familiar with and covered the hole with boards.

“It was literally almost impossible to find it,” Ms Andrade Ramírez said. She added that it took two hours to winch the bodies out of the well.

A fourth body was found with the young men. It is believed to be the remains of a rancher who owned the property and went missing two weeks earlier. His death is not believed to be linked to the case, authorities said.

Debra Robinson paid tribute to her sons in an emotional speech in San Diego on Tuesday (AP)

Ms Andrade Ramírez said investigators were not ruling out the possibility that the same suspects dumped the fourth body in the well as part of a previous crime.

On Tuesday Debra Robinson, the mother of Callum and Jake, delivered a moving tribute to her sons at a beach in San Diego.

“Our hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us,” Ms Robinson said, fighting back tears. “They were young men enjoying their passion of surfing together.”

She noted that her son Callum “considered the United States his second home,” and that Jake loved surfing so much that, as a doctor, he liked to work in hospitals near the beach.

“Jake’s passion was surfing, and it was no coincidence that many of his hospitals that he worked in were close to surfing beaches,” she said.

Choking back tears, Ms Robinson conveyed a final message that coincided with her sons’ adventurous lifestyles. “Live bigger, shine brighter, and love harder in their memory,” she said.

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