Sunday, June 16, 2024

Suspect arrested in September murder of US couple in Baja

A man has been arrested by authorities in Baja California in the September stabbing deaths of a San Diego-area couple who frequently spent time in Mexico.

Authorities believe that Emmanuel “N” killed retirees Ian Hirschsohn and Kathy Harvey in Hirschsohn’s home in El Socorrito, Ensenada, probably in late August. Police believe the suspect, who his daughter says was known to Hirschsohn, stabbed them in their sleep while burglarizing the home then dumped their bodies in a well a few miles away.

The couple were reported missing on September 2 after they did not show up in San Diego on August 30 as planned. Authorities, who found the bodies on September 5, say they found items at the scene that belonged to the suspect.

Hirschsohn’s daughter Ava Setzer identified the suspect to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper as a member of the family that owns the ranch where her father’s home is located. She said her father knew the family well, including the suspect. According to Mexican census information, the tiny town of El Socorrito has a population of about 30.

According to Setzer, authorities believe the suspect stabbed the couple, loaded their bodies into Hirschsohn’s Toyota Land Cruiser and drove to a well “in the middle of nowhere,” where he also dumped bedding from the home.

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The victims enjoyed exploring Baja California. Harvey, a native New Yorker who had lived in the San Diego area for over three decades, had worked as a physical therapist until her retirement in 2014, according to her son Robert Harvey.

“She had a bucket list of places she wanted to travel … and multiple friend groups,” he said.

His mother had been dating Hirschsohn for a least a couple of years, he said. “She was really happy with Ian.”

Hirschsohn, a widower, was “more active than anybody half his age,” said his daughter. “He lived the most full life, probably three times over.”

The news of the arrest came as a relief to the victims’ loved ones.

“The past couple of months, this whole process, I can’t even describe how difficult it’s been,” Setzer said.

Harvey said it was a comfort to know that his mother’s murderer was “going to have to pay for it, that he’s not going to get away with it.”

Sources: Zeta Tijuana (sp), Ensenada.net (sp), San Diego Union-Tribune (en)

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