L.A. Firefighter Missing in Mexico as His Home Was Discovered Ransacked: 'We Just Want Our Dad Back'
A Los Angeles firefighter has gone missing while visiting his condo in Mexico.
Francisco Aguilar, 48, disappeared on Thursday after visiting his condo in Rosarito, Mexico, a coastal town south of Tijuana and less than 30 minutes from the American border.
Aguilar's family said that he regularly visits his condo in Mexico and always stays in close contact during those trips. When they did not hear from him by Friday, some family members went to the condo to check on him — 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."
"It's a nightmare, for sure," added his daughter Amaris. "The fear is the worst."
Aguilar's family filed a missing person report with authorities in Mexico, and are pleading for more assistance in finding him and bringing him home safe.
Bella and Amaris added to the outlet that Aguilar's phone has been shut off, which they say is very unusual for 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."
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Aguilar has been a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department for 20 years, and was assigned to Cypress Park's Station 44, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The FBI has reportedly offered assistance in the search for Aguilar. The FBI did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, but spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the LA Times that the investigation is under Mexico's jurisdiction.
"That’s their jurisdiction," she said. "We have to defer to Mexican authorities."
Bella told ABC 7 News that it's difficult to wait for updates on the search.
"We just want our dad back. We don't have a lot of power, and it's very heartbreaking," she said, adding, "Every day it is getting harder."
"I don’t know if I can take it," Aguilar's mother Martha Carmona Aguilar told CBS LA. "He’s my first child."