Forty-five bags filled with human remains were found in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Tuesday, officials said.
Investigators with the Jalisco State Prosecutor's Office were searching for seven young call center workers when they made the gruesome discovery in a 40-meter deep ravine, according to a statement.
The call center workers disappeared last week from the Jardines Vallarta and La Estancia neighborhoods in Jalisco.
The State Prosecutor’s Office is continuing its search for the call center employees as it’s not clear if the remains belong to them.
Police responded to the Mirador del Bosque ravine in the city of Zapopan on Tuesday afternoon after receiving information about possible evidence related to the missing people. A black plastic bag with human remains was found, triggering a search effort.
At least 45 bags with human remains belonging to both men and women were found.
The Jalisco Forensic Medical Service is working to identify the remains and determine how many bodies were found and the cause of death.
Jalisco has been plagued with violence in recent years, especially at the hands of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
In 2020, the U.S. Justice Department announced more than 750 arrests after a six-month investigation targeting the Mexican drug cartel.
“CJNG has contributed to a catastrophic trail of human and physical destruction in Mexico,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczowski at the time. “It is the most well-armed cartel in Mexico. Its members willingly confront rival cartels and even the security forces of the Mexican government. CJNG is responsible for grisly acts of violence and loss of life.”