MEXICO CITY – The body of Norberto Ronquillo Hernandez, a Mexico City university student kidnapped last week, has been found, the Federal District Attorney’s Office said on Monday.
The 22-year-old man’s body was found in Xochimilco, a borough in the southern part of Mexico City, and relatives identified it from the clothing the student was wearing, prosecutors said.
The Pedregal University student was kidnapped on the night of June 4 after he finished a class.
University security cameras recorded him leaving campus in his automobile.
The kidnappers, according to officials, contacted Ronquillo’s family to demand the payment of ransom, which was paid. The student, however, was never set free.
Federal District Attorney Ernestina Godoy said in a press conference that Ronquillo’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition, leading investigators to conclude that the student was murdered the same night that he was kidnapped.
Investigators will know more about what happened to the young man once the autopsy is completed, Godoy said.
Authorities activated the kidnapping protocols in the case even though the victim’s family decided to keep the DA’s office out of the ransom negotiations, the prosecutor said.
Without providing details, Godoy said the DA’s office was pursuing some “pretty solid” lines of investigation and vowed to not let the student’s murder go unpunished.
During his daily press conference, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that for the federal government, “guaranteeing safety is a pending matter and we are working on and concerned about” the problem.
Lopez Obrador, the founder and leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), said that during his time as Mexico City’s mayor, the overall crime rate dropped and the number of murders, kidnappings and robberies fell.
The abduction of Ronquillo Hernandez, who was from the northern state of Chihuahua and moved to Mexico City to get a university degree, led to a series of protests to demand the assistance of authorities.
After the young man’s death was reported, Pedregal University said it would cancel classes until June 13 to allow students, faculty and staff to mourn.
Alto al Secuestro, an organization that works to end kidnappings in Mexico, said in its most recent report that the number of abductions rose 42.6 percent in the January-April 2019 period, compared to the same period last year.