When a loved one goes missing in the United States, their families file a missing person report in good faith that local law enforcement will conduct a thorough investigation into their disappearance. Concurrent with the investigation, family and loved ones conduct their own information campaign, keeping their missing loved one’s face in the media to increase the likelihood of their being found. However, when a person goes missing in Mexico, families and friends might not have recourse from the American government.

American investigative bodies do not have jurisdiction in Mexico. When Americans go missing in Mexico, the FBI is only able to assist Mexican law enforcement in searching for the missing person. The Los Angeles Times covered the story of a missing man named Francisco Aguilar, an American citizen and firefighter. Aguilar was last heard from in an WhatsApp message from his Rosarito beach home. Aguilar’s ex-wife, Karla Izquierdo, remarked on how difficult it has been for her family in the wake of Aguilar’s disappearance, “This is a living nightmare. Since this happened, we’ve been meeting all these families in Mexico who have also been searching for their loved ones for years and have been left without answers.” Despite filing a missing person report, Izquierdo said it was weeks before investigators in Mexican law enforcement seriously looked into what has been called Aguilar’s “forced disappearance,” leading to hundreds of hours of lost time and case progression.

The Baja California Police Department has come to the defense of the Mexican authorities, stating that Aguilar’s disappearance was thoroughly investigated, particularly because there was immediate evidence of foul play at his Rosarita home, including missing property and blood found inside the home. Two people were arrested in Aguilar’s disappearance after being found in possession of his credit cards. A former San Diego police sergeant by the name of Oscar Armenta vouched for the Mexican authorities, “I can personally tell you they’re outstanding at investigations. They’re really good at boots on the ground, with the limited resources and the other challenges they face.”

When a loved one goes missing in Mexico, Americans usually begin their due-diligence inside the United States by filing a missing person report. Anyone can file a missing person report in the United States for a loved one who disappeared outside of the country—however, American authorities realizing they have no jurisdiction in the area will advise “if you think your loved one is in Mexico, go to Mexico.”

Americans who go missing in Mexico typically—either by design or by happenstance—have run afoul of illegal activity south of the border. Criminals in Mexico do not kidnap Americans for the sake of doing so. Missing Americans in Mexico typically draw a lot of attention from both media and law enforcement that make operating a criminal empire more difficult. Without recourse from other law enforcement agencies, there are families who follow their scant advice and travel south of the border in search of their loved one missing in Mexico, despite the fact that they also run the risk of coming to harm.

Not all families are equipped to drop their entire lives to search for a missing loved one. Even fewer are able to make it down to Mexico to conduct a proper search. That’s why many families turn to the expertise of Lauth Investigations International and their team of private investigators to find answers in the case of their missing loved one.  A private investigator can be the ideal professional to conduct a missing person search in tandem with law enforcement. Private investigators are independent from law enforcement and are not bound by any jurisdictional restrictions. This means no time is lost in looking for the missing person. Private investigators have a diverse tool chest of skills that allow them to turn over every rock in Mexico in search of a missing person. Because they’re not law enforcement, witnesses are more comfortable opening up to private investigators, giving them necessary information needed for case progression. Lauth’s private investigators have previously worked with the FBI, Interpol, and other agencies to recover missing persons from throughout the globe. If your loved one has gone missing, call Lauth Investigations International at 317-951-1100.