Frank Aguilar is a California firefighter who went missing in Mexico on August 21 and is possibly the victim of a “violent kidnapping,” according to Los Angeles officials.
The former Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter was traveling to his condo in Rosarito, which is a coastal city in Mexico less than 20 miles near the Baja, California border, for a brief trip, ABC 7 reported.
North Baja investigators have now indicated that foul play and violence took place in the man’s condo leading up to his disappearance, the station added. Officials expressed that Aguilar, 48, may have been “forcibly taken,” ABC 7 said.
Aguilar’s brother, Gabriel, seconded the investigators’ conclusion, describing his brother’s condo as “ransacked” and in shambles, according to ABC 7.
“I hear of things like this happening but never would I ever thought it would happen to my brother,” the sibling told the TV station.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pleaded in a September 2 press conference for the safe return of the veteran firefighter.
“If this message gets to anyone who would dare kidnap an Angeleno who serves the people of Los Angeles, let him go and make sure he is able to safely return to our city and to his family,” the mayor said.
He added that the city is working “tirelessly” to find him.
“We will work tirelessly to make sure that Frank is returned safely,” Garcetti stated.
Here’s what you need to know about Frank Aguilar’s disappearance:
1. Aguilar’s Jeep & Dirt Bike are Missing
Aguilar’s daughters told ABC 7 that their father’s Jeep and dirt bike are missing.
His phone is also either turned off or dead and he hasn’t been in contact since the following week, the station added.
This is not typical behavior from the 48-year-old, his daughters explained to ABC 7, describing him as very connected to the family.
2. Aguilar’s Family is Now Trying to Access Ring Camera Footage From His Condo
ABC 7 reported that Aguilar’s family is now attempting to access the Ring Camera footage from the front door of Aguilar’s condo.
The station described the move as an act of desperation from the family in the hopes of finding more answers relating to Aguilar’s disappearance.
“It’s a nightmare, for sure. The fear is the worst,” Amaris Aguilar, one of his daughters, told the station.
His other daughter, Bella, echoed her sister’s claims.
“We just want our dad back. We don’t have a lot of power, and it’s very heartbreaking,” she added, ABC 7 said. “Every day it is getting harder.”
3. The FBI is Working With Mexican Authorities
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined Mexican authorities in their search for the missing firefighter and father, according to KTLA.
The bureau has not yet disclosed any details about the investigation, the outlet added.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department said the department is also helping with the search, CrimeOnline said.
4. Aguilar Was Only Going to Rosarita for a Few Days, Partly to Check on a Rental Party
Aguilar was only supposed to go to the Mexican city for a “brief visit,” CrimeOnline added. The 48-year-old owns a rental property that he hosts as an Airbnb, the outlet added.
The visit was intended to check on his property and he arrived alone last Thursday, CrimeOnline said.
5. Aguilar Worked with LAFD for 20 Years
An Army veteran, Aguilar had been with the Los Angeles Fire Department for 20 years, KTLA reported.
“Everybody in the department that knows him is heartbroken and confused,” firefighter Frank Barraza told the station.
He was also described by his dauthers as a loving and devoted father, KTLA said.
“He’s been to every single volleyball game, every single event my whole life,” Amaris expressed to the outlet. “And I just don’t know what I would do without my dad.”