Rafael Carranza and Molly Duerig, Arizona Republic, USA TODAY
TUCSON, Ariz. – The number of bodies recovered from a mass grave in Mexico near the Arizona border has risen to 42 after three days of searching, the Sonora attorney general’s office said.
A group of Mexican mothers who belong to the group Madres Buscadoras de Sonora, or Searching Mothers of Sonora, discovered the mass grave Thursday near the beach resort town of Puerto Peñasco, commonly known in Arizona as Rocky Point.
Staff members from the attorney general’s office, as well as forensic workers from the state’s criminal investigations unit, joined the mothers in their search. They will help transport the bodies to a lab and identify the remains.
The women found 13 bodies on Thursday, fully clothed. On Friday, they found an additional 14 bodies, according to state officials. More bodies were uncovered Saturday.
The identities of the dead were not known, and it was unclear how long the remains had been buried.
Lupita Orduño, spokeswoman for the state’s attorney general’s office, said Thursday that it was too early to speculate why the bodies were buried in a mass grave because officials first had to determine how the people died.
“We’re just now trying to identify the cause of death,” she said. “We don’t know how they were killed. And that’s what the forensic lab will do.”