“MX” for Borderland Beat
|Aguilar has been missing since Thursday|
Francisco Aguilar (age 48), a firefighter based in Los Angeles, California, went missing last week while he visited his condo in Rosarito, Baja California, a coastal town south of Tijuana and less than 30 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Aguilar’s family told reporters that he visited his condo in Mexico regularly and always stayed in close contact with his family during his trips. When they did not hear from him in 24 hours, some of his family members went to his condo to check on his — only to discover a frightening scene.
“The condo was ransacked, tables were overturned. It was a crazy, crazy episode,” Aguilar’s daughter Bella told ABC 7 News. “Vehicles were missing, items were missing. It was devastating to hear… It was so heartbreaking to hear.” The Mexican police told the family that Aguilar was a victim of foul play.
“It’s a nightmare, for sure,” added his daughter Amaris. “The fear is the worst.” His relatives also added that Aguilar’s phone was shut off, which they say was very unusual of him.
“We were on FaceTime the other day, and he was on the beach and just talking … about how it was so much fun and this was a little taste of what retirement would be like for him,” Amaris said to CBS Los Angeles. “I just pray with every fiber in my being that my father returns to us.”
Aguilar was a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department and has served there for 20 years. He was assigned to the Cypress Park’s Station 44. He was also a U.S. Army Veteran.
Aguilar’s family filed a missing person report to authorities in Baja California, and they are pleading for more assistance in finding him and bring him back home safe. The FBI has reportedly been assisting the family in Aguilar’s search. However, a spokeswoman told reporters that the case falls under Mexican jurisdiction.
“That’s their jurisdiction … we have to defer to Mexican authorities”, the FBI said.
According to investigators, Aguilar went to Rosarito to check on his condo, which is often rented to visitors. “He was just so happy last week, talking about how going to Rosarito is just like paradise and how he loves having this freedom and spending more time with his family and just being there,” Amaris Aguilar, one of his daughters, said.
“He’s been to every single volleyball game, every single event my whole life and I just don’t know what I would do without my dad.”