Police have made three arrests in the slayings of two Honduran migrant teens who were in the process of moving to a new shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
A news release from the attorney general’s office in the Mexican state of Baja California identified the suspects only as Esmeralda N., Carlos N. and Francisco Javier N.
Tijuana and Baja California sit on the US border, south of California.
The two boys – believed to be 16 or 17, according to witnesses – had been staying at a shelter for migrant youths and were on their way to another shelter Saturday when they were killed in an apparent robbery attempt, the news release said.
Police are still investigating the motive, the prosecutor’s office said.
Their bodies were found just after 7 p.m. (10 p.m. ET) in an alleyway near the city center. They had suffered stabbing and strangulation wounds, the release said.
A third boy who witnessed the killings was “seriously injured” in the attack but survived, Honduran officials said. He managed to escape but remains at risk, officials said.
Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador to Mexico, told Reuters the boys were brutally killed.
“The conditions in which the murder of the two youths occurred are really terrible,” Rivera told the news agency. “We are truly dismayed by everything that has happened.”
It’s unclear how long the teenagers had been in Tijuana and whether they planned to or had applied for asylum at the US-Mexico border. Honduras is helping transport the two bodies back to their home country.
Officials are urging Hondurans not to risk their lives by taking dangerous immigration routes.
Hundreds of Central American migrants started arriving last month in Tijuana, hoping to seek asylum in the United States. Many have been staying at local shelters while they await a chance to cross the border legally.
The process can take weeks as the large influx has created bottlenecks at ports of entry.
CNN’s Leyla Santiago, Gonzalo Alvarado, Abel Alvarado and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.