L.A. Mayor Pleads for the Safe Return of Firefighter Who Is Believed to Have Been Kidnapped in Mexico
A Los Angeles County firefighter who went missing nearly two weeks ago is likely the victim of a "violent kidnapping," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press conference Wednesday.
Francisco Aguilar, 48, was first reported missing on August 20 by his family after he failed to check in with them while visiting his condo in in Rosarito, Mexico, PEOPLE previously reported.
On Wednesday, Garcetti said that authorities believe the father of two has been kidnapped, and said that the city will "work tirelessly" to make sure he returned home safely, CBS Los Angeles reported.
"I want to say very clearly to anybody who would kidnap a member of our fire department that this is a member not just of our city government family, but of our community here in Los Angeles," Garcetti said during the press briefing.
"We will work tirelessly to make sure that Frank is returned safely," Garcetti added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Baja California head prosecutor Hiram Sanchez said that investigators had found evidence pointing to a violent crime.
"We are working with technical personnel to establish his last instance when his freedom was taken," Sanchez said, KRQE reported. "We have found a lot of evidence that leads us to believe this was an act of violence, nevertheless we have not determined for sure this is what happened to him."
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A spokeswoman for the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office told PEOPLE last week that they were in contact with authorities in Mexico regarding Aguilar.
"The FBI routinely offers assistance to our Mexican counterparts who have jurisdiction over an alleged crime that occurs in Mexico," the spokeswoman said. "The FBI will continue to offer assistance and provide resources as requested by our Mexican law enforcement partners."
Aguilar's daughter Bella told ABC 7 News last week that his condo had been "ransacked" and that several things were missing from the property when family members arrived to check in on him.
"It's a nightmare, for sure," Aguilar's daughter Amaris added to the outlet at the time.
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 previously reported.