Foul play suspected in deaths of missing California couple found at bottom of well in Mexico

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The bodies of a retired California couple who vanished in northern Mexico last month have been found at the bottom of a well there, authorities say.

Ian Hirschsohn, 78, and Kathy Harvey, 73, both of San Diego, had been staying at his second home near El Socorrito in the western Mexican state of Baja California when they were last heard from Aug. 28, reported CBS-TV affiliate KFMB.

Harvey’s son, Robert Harvey, said that day, his mom texted him to say the pair was planning to visit a gold mine or the beach.

Hirschsohn, a former aerospace engineer and Princeton University grad, and Harvey, who had worked as a physical therapist, were supposed to return to California three days later.

They never made it home — and their dark blue Toyota Land Cruiser was found abandoned in a remote area of Ensenada, about 3 hours north of El Socorrito, earlier this week, the son said.


Human remains were soon discovered in a nearby well Thursday — and authorities have now positively confirmed that they are the couple’s.

The pair’s deaths are considered foul play, the TV station said.

Robert Harvey said his mom and Hirschsohn loved Mexico and were part of a vibrant ex-pat community there.

“She was really enjoying retirement,’’ he told CBS. “She loved walking and traveling. She had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go.’’

Hirschsohn’s daughter, Ava Setzer, had posted a desperate message on Facebook last week, before the couple’s bodies were found, urging anyone who may have seen the pair to reach out to her.

“Any information on their whereabouts, please contact me immediately,” she wrote. “My dad Ian has a house in El Socorrito and is a seasoned veteran of Baja travel since purchasing the house in ‘85.

“He was staying at the house and the community is the first to report him missing. … he typically windsurfs at the spots shown in the map below at the bay south of San Quintin.”

Mexican authorities confirmed the identities of the dead couple Monday — two days after a man, a dual South African and Canadian citizen living in Mexico, was found dead on the Baja Peninsula. Hirschsohn was originally from South Africa.

The body of the second deaad man, Craig Harris, 65, was found on the beach in Cabo Pulmo, authorities said. He had been stabbed in the chest and had on a backpack filled with rocks before being tossed in the ocean and then washing ashore, they said.

Harris, who was last seen Aug. 29, ran a vacation rental business in Cabo, reports said.


Meanwhile, a Los Angeles firefighter is still missing after vanishing from his condo in the Baja California resort town of Rosarito late last month.

Francisco Aguilar, 48, who is currently on medical leave from the LA Fire Department and has been living part-time in Mexico, may have been the victim of a “violent kidnapping,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week, citing Mexican authorities.

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