PHOENIX — Phoenix police are investigating after three bodies were found in a vacant lot in the west Valley.
At about 1:35 p.m. Sunday, Phoenix police were called to the area of 99th Avenue and Mobile Lane, south of Broadway Road, for reports of an injured person.
When officers arrived on the scene, they located the remains of three men with obvious signs of trauma.
Police have identified them as:
-Abimael Jimenez Morenos, 16-year-old male
-Isauro Martinez Dominguez, 21-year-old male
-Herminio Perez Ramirez, 28-year-old male
Homicide detectives responded to the area and spoke with witnesses and processed the extensive crime scene.
The cause of death is under investigation by the Medical Examiner's Office.
Family members tell ABC15 the three men killed were cousins from Oaxaca, Mexico. The three were reportedly driving to Milwaukee, to live with relatives and start a better life.
A statement (translated from Spanish into English), was released Monday by the Oaxaca state government:
“The state government of Oaxaca, along with the Institute of Migrants, condemns the actions that took place in Arizona which led to three migrants losing their lives. They are reaching out to the secretary of foreign relations to bring the necessary support to the families and are asking authorities to continue investigating in order to hold the people behind this crime responsible.”
The Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix is making sure a full-scale investigation be done into the killings of three cousins.
"A horrendous crime was committed against three immigrants... who not only were immigrants but were indigenous people," says Consul General Jorge Mendoza Yescas, Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix.
We're told they were part of the Mixe community, which is an indigenous group in Oaxaca. They spoke a unique dialect, which the consul general says placed them in a vulnerable situation here in the U.S.
The boys' cousin says, he doesn't know who did this or how it happened but, all he wants are his cousins' bodies brought back to the place they grew up. He was closest to the youngest killed, 16-year-old Abimael Jimenez Morenos. They played in a Christian band for six years together. It was a passion Abimael recently left behind in search of the "American dream."
The consul general has spoken with the boys' families this week by Zoom, working to coordinate the return of all three bodies to Mexico and also serving as the point of contact.
"To help families in Mexico really navigate the system here in Arizona which includes, of course, the law enforcement and the legal system," says Yescas.
If anyone has further information, please contact the Phoenix Police Department or contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS/480-TESTIGO (Spanish) if you wish to remain anonymous.