The families and partners of the pair of Western Australians reported missing in Mexico fear the worst after two bodies were discovered in a burned out van.
In a statement, DFAT said the families and partners of friends and keen surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, both 33 years old, are aware that their van has been discovered and that “a tragic event has occurred”.
“The families hold deep fears for the safety of their sons but stress that they are still waiting for details to be confirmed,” the statement read.
“Members of Dean and Adam’s families will be travelling to Mexico in the coming days and working with Australian consular officials and Mexican authorities.
“We ask for privacy during this enormously difficult time.”
Lucas and Coleman were travelling south through Mexico when they mysteriously went missing.
They were last reported seen on November 20 in the town of Los Mochis in an area said to be notorious for violent drug cartel activity.
The next day, the Perth pair were scheduled to meet Mr Coleman’s girlfriend, Andrea Gomez, in Guadalajara but they failed to show up.
A blue and white van identical to the one the men were driving, though, was discovered burned out some 200kms from Los Mochis. Two bodies were found inside the van, however they were so badly burnt they could not be immediately identified. The bodies are now with the Forensic Medical Service of Mexico in the city of Culiacan.
Ms Gomez and Mr Lucas’s girlfriend, Josie Cox, based in Canada, were heading to Culiacan to confirm if the bodies were those of the two men, using DNA.
Ms Gomez told Associated Press of the guilt she felt about the apparent fate of the men, given what she knew about the dangers of travelling in the area so notorious with the narcotics trade.
“They hurried to get here and I think they travelled by night,” she said.
“I had told them of insecurity, but never told them of the horrible things that could happen. I feel a little responsible for that.”
IMAGE: Aussie surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, feared dead, with their Chevrolet van. (Facebook)