Mexican authorities said on Tuesday that human remains found in bags in a ravine in the western state of Jalisco last week belong to eight call center employees who have gone missing.
The gruesome find was made last week at the bottom of a 40-meter gorge in the municipality of Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara, a major industrial center.
Authorities launched a search for two women and six men in their 30s who went missing around May 20.
Forensic evidence “confirms that (the remains) are of young people who … have been reported missing,” the Jalisco state government said in a statement Tuesday.
Authorities did not indicate how the victims might have died.
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The missing persons reports were filed separately for each of the employees on different days, but investigators determined that they all worked at the same call center.
Initial inquiries suggested that the call center may have been involved in illegal activity.
Relatives of the missing have criticized the authorities, saying they were too slow to find their loved ones and investigate the call center.
In recent years, human remains have been found in sacks or unmarked graves in various parts of Jalisco.
The Jalisco New Generation cartel operates in the state and is one of the most powerful organized crime groups in Mexico and is embroiled in disputes with other drug syndicates.
Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 murders and nearly 100,000 disappearances, most attributed to criminal organizations, since the start of a controversial military drug operation in December 2006.