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Investigators searching for missing tourists in Mexican resort town

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Authorities say they have not heard from any of the missing men
  • A witness has told police they were abducted by gunmen
  • The state attorney general says the missing do not have criminal records

Mexico City, Mexico (CNN) -- Mexican authorities are still searching for 20 missing men who were reportedly abducted by gunmen while looking for a place to stay in the resort town of Acapulco, state media reported.

Investigators have found signs that they were abducted by "people dedicated to illicit activities," said Israel Soberanis Nogueda, secretary general of the government in Guerrero state.

But the state attorney general told reporters Monday that no specific crime was being investigated, since they have not heard from any of the missing men.

"The crime of kidnapping implies that someone is asking to be rescued, and we have not received any demand, in that sense," Attorney General David Augusto Sotelo Rosas said, according to Notimex.

The men were among a group of 22 Mexicans who arrived in Acapulco from the neighboring state of Michoacan in four cars Thursday, investigators said.

Two of the men told authorities they avoided being kidnapped because they had separated from the group to search for a place to stay in the popular tourist destination. Later, they reported their friends' disappearance to investigators.

"From afar, they realized that they were putting two of their friends in a vehicle, in a white truck, and when they came closer, they realized that none of their friends could be found," Guerrero police director Fernando Monreal told CNN affiliate Televisa.

In Michoacan's capital, family members of the 20 tourists were waiting outside the state prosecutor's office for more information, CNN affiliate Univision reported. Nearby, in a church, other family members prayed for their missing loved ones.

They told Univision that their family members, mostly mechanics and carpenters, had gone to the area on vacation and had nothing to do with organized crime.

Sotelo said that none of the missing men had criminal records, Notimex reported.

The La Familia drug cartel is active in the area, but officials have not said the men's disappearance is connected with organized crime.

CNN's Rey Rodriguez contributed to this report.