The LAFD said that human remains found in Mexico have been identified as 48-year-old veteran firefighter and paramedic Francisco Aguilar.
“This is a tragic outcome to a case we were hoping would end differently,” Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a statement. “On behalf of the men and women of the LAFD, we send our deepest condolences to Firefighter Aguilar’s family and we stand ready to assist them in the days to come.”
Family members said at the time the Army veteran traveled alone last month to Rosarito, 13 miles south of the border city of Tijuana, to check on a condominium his family rents out on Airbnb. The trip was only supposed to last a few days.
When family members went to check on him, they found the condo ransacked.
“The condo was ransacked, tables were overturned. It was a crazy, crazy episode,” Aguilar’s daughter, Bella Aguilar, told KABC-TV at the time. “Vehicles were missing, items were missing. It was devastating to hear … It was so heartbreaking to hear.”
Last month, a couple identified as a 32-year-old woman Aguilar knew as “Fanny N” and a 27-year-old man named “Santos N” were arrested on a highway near Rosarito Beach, located south of Tijuana.
The couple had some of Aguilar’s belongings in their possession, including credit cards that had been used in Rosarito, Ensenada and Tijuana after his disappearance.
Baja California central state prosecutor Hiram Sánchez said at a news conference on Wednesday the two will now be charged with murder.
Fanny N. allegedly lured Aguilar to meet her but then allegedly became a kidnapping target by Santos N. During the botched kidnapping, Aguilar was shot and later died.
His cremated skeletal remains were found in an uninhabited area on Oct. 23, according to Sánchez. Authorities said the “full identification” was completed on Wednesday. The FBI was involved in the search for the firefighter.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was “deeply saddened to learn” about Aguilar’s death, FOX11 reported.
“This is a tragic loss for our entire city,” Garcetti said.
Authorities have said the couple denied having any information about Aguilar’s whereabouts.
Sánchez said Wednesday there was another person involved in the crime but did not have additional details.
Detectives also found Aguilar’s Jeep, which was stolen by the couple and sold to a third person who didn’t know where the car came from, Sánchez said.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and the Associated Press contributed to this report.