Family members of a 22-year-old man from British Columbia who vanished in Mexico two weeks ago are concerned he may have been kidnapped.
Amanda Morales says her family fears her nephew, Diego Hernandez, was taken against his will.
"Life was going really well for him. I just would hate that being taken away from him," Morales said from her home in Coquitlam.
Hernandez — who has been living in Puerto Vallarta for the past two years — disappeared just days after organizing a mixed martial arts fighting event on May 5, she said. Hernandez and his American business partner, Craig Silva, were making payments for the MMA venue and alcohol in the days after the event.
The two men disappeared in the evening on May 10 after dropping off Silva's girlfriend at a university and haven't been heard from since, she added.
Last Tuesday, there was a phone call to Hernandez's ex-girlfriend from some men who claimed they took the pair, Morales said.
"There was no mention of ransom or anything else. Just they got the wrong guy. That's not who they wanted and they were going to return him," she said.
But the family's initial relief and excitement has turned to desperation, as the pair haven't turned up, Morales said. Instead, photos have surfaced of Hernandez at two bank ATM machines and at a convenience store, flanked by men with their faces covered, she added.
"We've waited to go to Canadian media because we thought that might put them in danger. We're at the stage where we're just desperate. We don't know which way to look," she added.
Morales said family members want Foreign Affairs to step in and do more to help them. Ottawa says it is working on getting information on the case.
Mexican police have recovered Silva's truck, according to Mexican media reports, and are still searching for Hernandez and his American friend.
CBC News has learned the martial arts instructor was recently in trouble in B.C.
Last fall, Hernandez was ordered to stand trial on a charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine or heroin, as well as one charge of possession of stolen property under $5,000. Both charges relate to incidents dating back to September 2010.
Hernandez grew up Coquitlam, but has been living with his mother in Puerto Vallarta where she operates an orphanage for girls.