Ian Hirschsohn and Kathy Harvey, an American couple from San Diego who went missing during a trip to Mexico at the end of August, were found dead at the bottom of a well the following week. On Monday, September 7, authorities confirmed that the remains found were positively identified as those of 78-year-old Hirschsohn and 73-year-old Harvey.
The San Diego police department told News 8, “They are now confirmed deceased in Mexico and family has been notified.” The Baja California state prosecutor said their bodies were discovered in a well south of Ensenada, a town about 70 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, ABC10 News reported. Authorities are actively investigating and foul play is suspected in the couple’s deaths, News 8 added.
The Retired Couple’s Family Said They Last Heard From Them on August 28 & They Failed to Return Home on August 31
Harvey and Hirschsohn were a retired couple who had been staying at Hirschsohn’s vacation home in El Socorrito, which is about 200 miles south of the border, for a week. According to a plea for help posted to Facebook by Hirschsohn’s daughter Ava Setzer when they were missing, Hirschsohn was a “seasoned veteran of Baja travel since purchasing the house in ‘85 – he was staying at the house and the community is the first to report him missing not me.”
Setzer added that the couple had been traveling in a Toyota Land Cruiser with California plates. According to News 8, Harvey messaged her son Robert on Friday evening, August 28, and told him the two were going to either visit a beach or a gold mine. Their plan had been to return to the U.S. on August 31, the outlet reported. Robert Harvey told News 8 that the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana informed him a few days later that authorities had located the couple’s Toyota Land Cruiser in Ensenada.
Robert Harvey said his mother had recently retired after working for 30 years as a physical therapist. “She was really enjoying retirement and had multiple groups of friends,” he said. “She loved walking and traveling. She had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go.” According to the New York Post, Hirschsohn, a graduate of Princeton University and aerospace engineer, was also retired.
The couple had frequently visited the town of El Socorrito, where there is an ex-pat community. One of Hirschsohn’s friends in California said, “He went to Mexico a lot. I’d say he went down at least every couple of months,” ABC10 News reported.
Their Deaths Come on the Heels of Another Foreigner’s Death on the Baja Peninsula, While An American Is Still Missing From the Area
Two days before Harvey and Hirschsohn’s remains were identified, another foreigner was found dead in the Cabo Pulmo area of the Baja Peninsula, New York Post reported. That area is much further south on the peninsula than where the retired couple was found.
In this case, the deceased was identified as Craig Harris, 65, a dual citizen of South Africa and Canada, who lived and worked in Mexico. Harris’ body was found washed ashore; he had been stabbed in the chest and his backpack was filled with rocks.
The Post reported that in addition to these recent deaths, another individual is missing in Baja California. Frank Aguilar, a 48-year-old Los Angeles firefighter, disappeared from his condo where he was living part-time while on leave from work. He had been living in Rosarito, a resort town just south of Tijuana and the border.
According to the Post, his family hasn’t heard from him since August 21 and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Mexican authorities believe he may have been the victim of a “violent kidnapping.”
The State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico says to “exercise increased caution” in the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur due to criminal activity and violence. For Baja California, the advisory reads in part, “Particularly notable is the number of homicides in non-tourist areas of Tijuana.” Road travel in Mexico is particularly risky, according to the country information page, and travelers should avoid driving at night and always use toll roads when possible.