Surfers killed in Mexico 'eerily similar' to 2020 San Diego couple's murders

The slayings of two Australian brothers and their American friend while on a surfing trip in Mexico are "eerily similar" to the murders of an elderly San Diego couple in the Mexican state four years ago, a private investigator told FOX News Digital. 

Ian Hirschsohn and Kathy Harvey, a retired couple in their 70s, were killed in their vacation home in El Socorrito, a tiny beach town in Baja California, in the summer of 2020. This case immediately came to mind for Jay Armes III, who specializes in kidnappings in Mexico and works cases all over the world.

According to prosecutors, Hirschsohn and Harvey were stabbed to death during a home invasion by a man who stole their bedding, according to a statement by the Baja California Attorney General's Office. They were reported missing by family members on Sept. 2, and their bodies were discovered two days later dumped in a well in a remote area of Ensenada, about 90 minutes south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Hirschsohn’s daughter identified the suspect as a member of the family that owned the ranch where her father’s vacation home was located. 

RELATED: Surfers killed in Mexico: Suspect said he 'did something' to 'three gringos,' girlfriend alleges

It's similar to how the bodies of American Jack Carter Rhoad, 30, and Australian brothers Callum Robinson, 33, and Jake Robinson, 30, were found. The three were reported missing on April 28 after they did not show up at their accommodation. The three men were on a camping and surfing trip along a stretch of coast south of Ensenada, posting idyllic photos on social media of waves and isolated beaches, before they disappeared. 

Mexican prosecutors said the three men were shot and killed trying to fight off carjackers who had targeted them to steal the tires from their truck. 

Their bodies were found in a remote well about 50 feet deep in a rugged hillside area near Ensenada.

"The story is they (the suspects) wanted the tires, not even the truck," Armes said to FOX News Digital. "They burned the truck. That's how little regard for life there is in these remote areas of Mexico. Anyone can be killed for anything."

"I'm not taking away anything from good police work, but I think the idea to look in the well came from that case," Armes added. "At least they used their heads and made the effort to look. The extra body that was found was likely another one of their victims.

RELATED: Mexican authorities reveal why thieves targeted, killed 3 surfers in Baja California

Armes said while there are many beautiful tourist attractions in Mexico, a lot of those destinations are either dangerous cartel battlegrounds or remote areas where people "just vanish."

"And most are never found," Armes said. 

Three suspects were identified in connection with the deaths of Rhoad and the Robinson brothers. Two of those suspects are being held on drug charges after law enforcement allegedly found them in possession of meth.

Last week, the girlfriend of the man arrested in connection with the murders allegedly confessed to the surfers' killings.

The BBC reports Jesús Gerardo Garcia Cota allegedly showed up at his girlfriend Ari Gisel Garcia Cota’s house on April 28 and told her he did something to "three gringos," the girlfriend testified on Wednesday. This was one day after the surfers were last seen.

Garcia Cota told her "I killed them," she said in court. After the stunning admission, he then took her outside to her car, which was reportedly outfitted with the tires that were allegedly stolen from the victims' truck.

Garcia Cota will be prosecuted for the crime of "disappearance committed by private individuals," and homicide charges are expected to be filed later, the state prosecutor's office said.

RELATED: 3 bodies found in search for US and Australian surfers who mysteriously vanished in Mexico

In 2015, two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed in western Sinaloa state, across the Gulf of California — also known as the Sea of Cortez — from the Baja peninsula. Authorities said they were victims of highway bandits. Three suspects were arrested in that case.

In 2022 alone, there were 66 million international visitors, including nearly 34 million U.S. tourists, according to Mexico's ministry of tourism.

Authorities have not stated there is a connection between the deaths of Rhoad and the Robinson brothers with Hirschsohn and Harvey.

FOX News Digital contributed to this report.