Police find body of suspect in bar kidnappings

AP News
Posted: Jul 02, 2013 8:46 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police found the burned body of one of the main suspects in last month's abduction of 12 young people from an after-hours bar in Mexico City, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The body of Dax Rodriguez Ledezma was found along with his girlfriend and another person in the town of Huitzilac in Morelos state. All the bodies had been burned, Mexico City prosecutors said in a statement.

Officials said he was identified through DNA compared to his brother, Mario Rodriguez Ledezma, who has been arrested and charged in the kidnappings.

Authorities didn't say when the bodies were found or give any other details, but 10 days ago the attorney general's office in neighboring Morelos state reported police had found the burned bodies of two women and a man on a dirt road in Huitzilac with their heads covered in duct tape.

Dax Rodriguez Ledezma was a co-owner of Heaven, the after-hours bar from which the group was abducted May 26. Another partner, Ernesto Espinosa Lobo, was arrested Friday for questioning. A total of seven people have been detained in the case.

Witnesses told police Rodriguez Ledezma was at the bar the day of the kidnapping.

Surveillance tape shows men herding the young people, a few of them at a time, into compact cars. They haven't been heard from since.

Prosecutors say the abductions are linked to a dispute between two rival drug gangs in Mexico City's Tepito neighborhood, one of the city's most dangerous areas and home to most of the abducted.

The families of the disappeared, however, say they suspect a criminal group from outside their community is behind the kidnappings because they say they have never seen any of the suspects detained in the case.

"I don't know how important Dax is for police but for us the key person in the case is Espinosa Lobo," said Leticia Ponce, mother of Jerzy Ortiz, a 16-year-old who is among the missing.

No one apparently saw anything amiss Sunday morning when the abduction supposedly happened, even though nearby Reforma Avenue was full of people that day — for a 5-kilometer foot race, the city's weekly urban bike ride, and an international culture fair that had just opened the day before.


Adriana Gómez Licon is on Twitter http://twitter.com/agomezlicon