American PhD Student Murdered in Mexico While Studying Sonoran Plant
A University of California, Berkeley doctoral student went to Mexico for research and was tragically killed in a state near the U.S. border, according to The Associated Press.
While studying a native plant in the region, Gabriel Trujillo, 31, was shot seven times, his father, Anthony Trujillo, told the AP.
Trujillo drove from Arizona across the border into the Mexican state of Sonora on June 17.
Authorities found his body June 22 in his SUV roughly 60 miles from his Airbnb.
“Evidently he was in the wrong place,” Anthony Trujillo told the AP on Thursday as he left the county with his son’s remains.
The details relating to the cause of Trujillo’s death are still unknown, according to the report.
A California scholar’s research into a flowering shrub took him to Mexico and a violent death. https://t.co/OjJJe8Fc6n
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2023
Trujillo’s fiancée, Roxanne Cruz-de Hoyos, hadn’t heard from Trujillo after speaking with him during the initial days of his trip. She flew down to the area when she lost contact.
“Gabe was a passionate ecologist, field biologist, and advocate for diverse voices in science,” the university’s Department of Integrative Biology wrote in an email.
“We all face a world that is less bright for this loss.”
Such a tragic loss of an amazing and inspiring person. Gabe was an undergrad in my lab many years ago and was a graduate student at Berkeley. Please contribute if you can.
Fundraiser by Roxy Cruz : Gabriel Trujillo’s Funeral & Celebration of Life https://t.co/TG7GM955uj
— Dr. Corrie Moreau (@CorrieMoreau) June 29, 2023
The State Department warns Americans against traveling to Sonora “due to crime and kidnapping.”
“Violent crime is widespread,” it says. “U.S. citizens and LPRs [legal permanent residents] have been victims of kidnapping.”
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