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A suspect has been arrested in connection with the killings of a retired California couple who were found dead at the bottom of a well in Mexico last year, authorities announced this week.
Retirees Ian Hirschsohn, 78, and Kathy Harvey, 73, were found dead in an unincorporated area of Mexico on Sept. 5, the San Diego Police Department told Oxygen.com. The couple had vanished one month prior while staying in the vacation home that Hirschsohn owned in the tiny beach town of El Socorrito — about 4 miles away from where their bodies were found in a well.
Mexican authorities have now arrested the man they believe is responsible for their deaths.
The Baja California Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday that they have arrested a suspect they are identifying as only Emmanuel N., the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It's typical for Mexican officials to refrain from releasing the last names of suspects.
Hirschsohn’s daughter, Ava Setzer, told Oxygen.com that the suspect is the son of the landowners of the ranch where her father had vacationed for decades. Setzer noted that her father owned a house, but not the land where it was located in Mexico, as he was not a citizen. He had been vacationing there for 35 years, and knew the family, including Emmanuel N., quite well.
"Forensics came back that they were stabbed and there was no struggle," Setzer told Oxygen.com.
She told the Union-Tribune that she believes they may have been attacked while they were sleeping.
Originally, prosecutors theorized the killer was a drug user who had broken into the home and killed the couple during a burglary. They said they believe their killer had transported the couple’s bodies in their Toyota Land Cruiser, which was found abandoned after the murders.
Investigators allegedly found items at the scene that belonged to the suspect, Mexico News Daily reports.
While the elderly couple wasn't married, they have been described as vibrant best friends who loved traveling and enjoying life.
Jim Dietz, Hirschsohn’s neighbor in Solana Beach, California, told local station KGTV in 2020 that Hirschsohn went down to Mexico at least every couple of months.
“He was a real gentleman,” he said.
Kathy Harvey’s son, Robert Harvey, told local station KFMB-TV that his mother, who was enjoying retirement after spending three decades working as a physical therapist, loved to travel.
“She had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go,” he said.
The son expressed relief to the Union-Times that a suspect had been arrested.
He told the outlet that he takes “comfort in knowing he’s going to have to pay for it, that he’s not going to get away with it.”
Setzer told Oxygen.com that she is "extremely grateful" for the arrest and said that without the Ensenada Homicide Division, her family "would have no resolution and I would still be wondering how and what happened."
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