Canadian missing for nearly two weeks in Mexico
Published Monday, May 20, 2013 11:51AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 20, 2013 9:49PM EDT
The family of a missing B.C. man worries that he and his friend have been kidnapped after disappearing from a Mexican resort almost two weeks ago.
Canadian Diego Hernandez, a 22-year-old martial arts instructor, and his American friend, Craig Silva, went missing from Puerto Vallarta on May 8, just two days after Hernandez organized a mixed martial arts sporting event in the city. They have not been seen or heard from since.
The mother of the missing Canadian, now in Puerto Vallarta, believes her son was kidnapped.
“They’re both martial arts instructors, they’re disciplined individuals,” Hernandez’s mother Melissa Canez told The Canadian Press on Monday.
Canez says she has seen surveillance video that shows Hernandez withdrawing cash at an ATM flanked by two masked men.
According to Canez, Hernandez was also approached before the event by a person who wanted a cut of his earnings.
“I was terrified,” she told AP. “I said to him, ‘You can’t say no to those people…I think you should leave, like get on the plane right now.”
The pair was last seen in Silva’s truck, a black 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, which has since been recovered by police.
Local Mexican newspaper Noticias PV says Puerto Vallarta’s director of public safety, Silvestre Chavez, has launched an investigation.
"The police in Mexico and the Embassy are taking this seriously and working on getting records but at this time it appears to be a random kidnapping," the moderator of a Facebook group set up to collect tips about the pair’s whereabouts wrote on May 12.
Taking to Facebook on May 16, Silva’s sister begged her brother’s potential captors to “just let him go.”
“This is the breaking point,” she wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “Please if anyone out there knows where my brother is -- or if you have him. Please just let him go. Craig is my baby brother. I just want him back safely. I don't care why you have him or who you are, I just want Craig back safe. Please. If you love your own family: brother or sister or son, try to imagine how we feel and send him home to us safely.”
The plea was posted a day after Mother’s Day, the “very first” time the missing American man “did not tell me how much he loves me,” wrote Silva’s mother on Facebook. “This pain will not go away and I will not rest until I can hear those words again. I love you Craig.”