SAN DIEGO (AP) A young married couple and a plumber were among four Mexicans killed in Southern California wildfires in October and identified by investigators Friday, nearly two months after their bodies were found near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said the dead were Ruben Santos Ramirez, 28, and his wife Areli Peralta Rivera, 25, of the small town of Mazatlan Guerrero near Acapulco, Mexico; Lourdes Eugenio Tadeo, 21, from the same town; and Ruben Mendez Hernandez, 23, a plumber from Mexico’s Guanajuato state. The town of Mazatlan shares a name with the larger city on the Pacific Coast.
The charred remains of the four, who were believed to have crossed the border illegally, were found in a ravine on Oct. 29. Investigators from the California Department of Justice used DNA analysis to help identify them.
Another member of the group, 20-year-old Alejandro Martinez of Mazatlan, died last month at UCSD Medical Center.
Peralta’s father, Concepcion Peralta, was in San Diego County attempting to find out his daughter’s fate. He had hoped upon his recent arrival that she was only missing.
The victims were among eight people killed by the Harris Wildfire in San Diego County, which also seriously injured four firefighters and a teenage boy and consumed hundreds of homes in the rural communities along the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego.