ABOVE LEFT – Dean Lucas
ABOVE RIGHT – Adam Coleman

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2015/11/sinaloa-2-bodies-discovered-in-torched.html#more

 

On November 21, there was a report in local media that at around 10:30am In the vicinity of Juan Aldama (El Tigre) Navolato, around 10:30 am, a van was discovered torched to complete destruction and inside were two deceased persons.

At the time other than the vehicle being a Chevrolet step up van without license plates, officials said it was unknown how the event occurred or the identification of the victims.

On November 21, there was a report in local media that at around 10:30am In the vicinity of Juan Aldama (El Tigre) Navolato, around 10:30 am, a van was discovered torched to complete destruction and inside were two deceased persons.

At the time other than the vehicle being a Chevrolet step up van without license plates, officials said it was unknown how the event occurred or the identification of the victims.

Inside the van was found a grill and canned food, speculation and rumor replaced solid facts and information. It wasn’t until five days later that Mexican authorities pooled facts together and concluded the victims found in the van were most likely Australian natives, Canadian residents Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, both 33, travelling in Mexico on a surfing trip and to visit friends.

Last heard from the day before the discovery

On the day prior two Edmonton Canada residents who went on a road trip to Mexico to surf and visit friends were last heard from and now are feared missing or worse after family lost contact with them for over a week now.

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, both Australian nationals who have lived in Edmonton during the summer construction season for the past several years,  left for Mexico in a 1992 Chevrolet van on Sept. 28 from Alberta.

“They’re incredibly keen surfers, very talented surfers. They love finding waves all around the world … I know they’ll be trying to find random waves. But I don’t think that’s what they were doing,” said Lucas’s girlfriend Josie Cox, from Edmonton, on Saturday. “I think they were trying to make their way to Guadalajara, like they planned.” Cox was meeting Lucas in Guadalajara. Both men are experienced travelers who have been to Mexico multiple times and speak Spanish.

The men remained in contact with their friends in Edmonton via text, email, and Facebook as they travelled through the United States and into Mexico. But Cox says the last day she heard from Lucas was Nov. 20, the day of their three-year-anniversary, and the day before the Chevi Van was found with the two bodies in Sinaloa

The men were boarded a ferry from La Paz to Topolobampo, then were scheduled to drive to Guadalajara, arriving on Nov. 21. Lucas assured his girlfriend he would have an Internet connection once he reached the big city. Mr Coleman’s girlfriend Andrea Gomez, of Guadalajara, was expecting her boyfriend on the 21st.

“They’re such good guys and such good people and they’re really respectful of us and their family …. I definitely don’t doubt that something has happened, something that we should be worried about, which is exactly why I’m here,” said Cox, about her public campaign to find the men.

 

Cox has been trying to spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and other media to glean more information. She  flew to Guadalajara on Sunday.

“If (anyone) has any information, I would really encourage them, if they want to be anonymous, to contact the (Australian) embassy (in Mexico) or myself. I’m on Facebook (link to her FB page here) and any lead that we get, we’re following up, even if we don’t think it’s completely relevant,” she said. “I’m happy to sit there all night, 24 hours a day on my laptop, answering queries, and following things up, and calling people, if that’s what it needs.”

At the Edmonton airport Sunday, waiting to board the Mexico bound aircraft, Ms. Cox posted this face book message:

Friends of Lucas and Coleman have most recently been hit with the report from a Mexican news agency that a burnt-out van with two bodies had been found in Sinaloa state. The story said that authorities are investigating and that it appears the van had been used as a camper.

But Cox stressed there is no confirmed connection between the Australians and the news story. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade could not be reached on Saturday to confirm their involvement in the search for Lucas and Coleman.

The men grew up together in Australia and have both been travelling the world for years. Coleman started working the construction season in Edmonton four years ago, but would travel to warmer spots in the off-season. Two years ago, his friend Lucas joined him for the Edmonton construction season.

Cox, who is British, has known Lucas since 2012, when they met in India. They stayed in touch that year, and eventually met up again — in Mexico.

“Dean is shy, he takes a step back… he’s a listener. He’s really calm, very sensible in situations like this. He likes to have a good time but he has a good head on his shoulders and a really good upbringing,” Cox said of her boyfriend, who is 33.

His friend, Coleman, is “the complete opposite, in a good way,” Cox said. “He’s the life of the party, he makes everyone laugh. His stories are unbelievable — literally unbelievable sometimes… They really are a good match, this is why they’re good friends.”

The friends set out in a van they had refurbished for the cross-continent trip. They put on new tires, outfitted the van with a kitchen, and had it insured with Alberta license plates. It had a distinctive red replacement door that friends teased them would make the van impossible to sell again.

It was the first time Coleman, 33, had owned a vehicle.

“He’s always been a traveler and surfer and skateboarder,” said friend Chris Coutu, on Saturday.

The last text that Lucas sent to his friend Taylor Holbrook was to ask a favor, to buy flowers and chocolate for his girlfriend in Edmonton. Canadian news outlets report Lucas had intended to propose to Cox when together next.

“We are in La Paz in Baja about to get the ferry over to the mainland,” Lucas wrote. “Mate, can you do me a huge favor if you are seeing Josie tomorrow… if by any chance you are seeing her and are passing a store, I would be incredibly grateful if you could pick her up choc. and flowers?… Wish ya were here with the boys in the van — grubby desert living with fun as waves!!”

Ms Gomez said her partner was planning to move to Mexico and she had been looking forward to reuniting with him after three months apart. She said she had been left heartbroken and her “soul was shattered”.

“My soul is shattered,” she says while hanging on to hope, “this event will completely change my life,” she said.

Mexican authorities are conducting DNA studies for a positive identification of the bodies.  Ms. Gomez gave a lock of Coleman’s dreadlock styled hair to Mexican authorities, for DNA studies.