A Los Angeles firefighter who has been on medical leave might have been the victim of a violent kidnapping in Baja California, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Garcetti opened his regular coronavirus briefing Wednesday afternoon with updates on the disappearance of LAFD firefighter Frank Aguilar, who vanished last week in Mexico. NBC4 is attempting to confirm details about the announcement.
Aguilar, 48, may have been the victim of a violent kidnapping in Baja California, Garcetti said, citing Mexican authorities. Garcetti said the city was working closely with the Mexican government through the State Department and the local consul-general from Mexico to provide any necessary support in bringing Aguilar home.
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Garcetti said the information on Aguilar was provided just before his briefing and that he had no other information on the matter but would talk to federal authorities and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas more about the incident.
“If this message gets to anybody who would dare kidnap an Angeleno who serves the people of Los Angeles, let him go and make sure that he is able to safely return to our city and to his family,” Garcetti said.
Aguilar had been on medical leave from the LA Fire Department since March and was living part-time in Rosarito, Mexico, where he was last heard from on Aug. 20.
His family said Aguilar was supposed to meet someone near his condo and even sent a pin-drop so a friend would know the location he was going to, but never returned.
“We don’t know what we would do without him. It’s just so crazy that this is even happening in the first place, but we really just need him to come home. Like, right now,” sisters Bella and Anaris Aguilar said through tears.
The FBI was also aiding in efforts to find Aguilar after his family filed a missing persons report with Tijuana police.
“I want to say very clearly to anybody who would kidnap a member of our fire department that this is a member not just of our city government family, but of our community here in Los Angeles. We will work tirelessly to make sure that Frank is returned safely. This is somebody who has put his life on the line for us and we will do everything in our power… to ensure that law enforcement in Mexico has whatever support it needs,” Garcetti said.