(CNN) — Forty-five bags containing human remains with characteristics matching seven missing call center staff has been discovered in a ravine in a suburb of Guadalajara, according to the state prosecutor’s office in Jalisco.
The Jalisco State Prosecutor’s Office investigating the deaths said it has preliminary information that the body parts “match the physical characteristics of some of the young people missing employees of the call center.”
Seven call center employees were reported missing between May 20 and 22 in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, in western Mexico.
Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruíz, a Jalisco prosecutor, said they found the human remains inside bags thrown on a lot with a very steep slope.
Forensic experts have yet to determine the number of victims and their identities.
The Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences is working with the families of those missing to determine the identification of the human remains.
The country has been troubled by an epidemic of disappearances with more than 100,000 Mexicans and migrants still missing.
More than 1,500 bodies have been found in Jalisco state since 2018, official figures show. According to the office of the Jalisco’s special prosecutor for missing persons, 291 bodies were discovered in 2019, 544 bodies were found in 2020, 280 bodies in 2021, and 301 the following year. So far in 2023, 147 bodies have been found.
In March, after four Americans were kidnapped in Mexico, resulting in the deaths of two of them, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador argued that Mexico is a safer country than the United States.
Kidnapping and human trafficking are also not unusual in parts of Mexico, particularly in border areas and Mexico’s overall homicide rate is among the highest in the world.