Forensic workers identify Mexican model found in a clandestine grave

Mexican model, 24, is discovered buried in a secret mass grave after being kidnapped while shopping by a gang of masked men two months ago

  • Yessenia Alvarado’s remains were identified by forensic workers in Sonora, Mexico, on Sunday
  • Alvarado, 24, was kidnapped outside a store in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, by a group of armed men August 18
  • Alvarado, who was the mother of a five-year-old boy, was buried along with five other corpses inside a mass grave September 20
  • At least three suspects were arrested and ordered by a judge to be held in prison while investigators and prosecutors look into the case 

The remains of a missing model whose body was discovered in a secret mass grave with six other bodies in northern Mexico last month, has been identified.

Yessenia Alvarado, 24, a mom-of-one who worked as a model in Mexico, was shopping in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, on August 18 when a several armed men wearing masks abducted her. 

Her family say the men tried to extort them for a ransom but the group stopped communicating.

On September 20, investigators from the Criminal Investigation Agency anti-kidnapping unit obtained a search warrant for a property in the Sonora municipality of Cajeme, where they discovered a mass grave with seven people.

The family of Alvadaro was notified and were able to identify the clothing on one of the two women found in the grave as their daughter’s. On Sunday, Forensic Scientific Intelligence Laboratory confirmed the DNA testing was a match. 

Yessenia Alvarado was identified Sunday as one of the five individuals whose bodies were found buried in a clandestine grave September 20 in Sonora, Mexico 


The 24-year-old was shopping when she was kidnapped August 18 in Ciudad Obregón by a group of armed men. Alvarado worked as a model and was the mother of a five-year-old boy

On September 20, investigators dug out six bodies at a property in Sonora, Mexico, but were unable to identify the gender of one of the victims

The Sonora state prosecutor’s office said that the remains of a sixth victim were unidentifiable at the time of the shocking discovery.  

At least three suspects have been arrested in connection with the bodies that were found at the property. A judge ordered all three individuals held in custody while defense lawyers and prosecutors go over the case. 

It’s unknown if the suspects were linked to a cartel. 

Yessenia Alvarado, a 24-year-old model founded dead in a clandestine grave September 20 after she was abducted August 18, was the mother of a five-year-old boy

Yessenia Alvarado during a celebration for her 23rd birthday in June 2019

Her grief stricken brother, Juan Alvarado, took to his Facebook page Sunday evening after the family learned his sister had been identified shared several photos of him and his sibling together along with a heartfelt message.

‘Fly high sister. I’m going to miss you very much my friend, my life partner,’ he wrote in Spanish. ‘I will see you soon in order to be together my queen.’ 

Alvarado, who was the mother of a five-year-old boy, was outside a store in the Sonora neighborhood of Aves del Castillo when the kidnappers forced her into a vehicle and sped off, eyewitness told authorities.

In the days following the abduction, her mother Yadira Rivera said she had received numerous calls requesting ransoms in exchange for the release of her daughter, according to Mexican news outlet Sintesis Noticias. 

‘A person called extorting us, supposedly saying that they have her, saying give me so much and I’m going to release her. They have tried to take advantage of the situation,’ Rivera.

Rivera described Alvarado as someone who enjoyed spending time with her friends and relaxing at home with her son. She had graduated in March 2019 with a degree in social work from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa.

Alvarado was featured in a lead role opposite Mexican singer José Manuel in a video for the song ‘Solo To Te Amé’ [It Was Only I Who Loved You]. The video was uploaded on the singer’s YouTube channel August 7, just 11 days before Alvarado was kidnapped. 

Sonora property where Mexican authorities unearthed six bodies that had been dug in a clandestine grave 

Data released by independent watchdog group Alto al Secuestro [Stop Kidnapping] found that abductions in Mexico increased by 15% in August [137 kidnapping victims] compared with July [119]. 

The states with the highest abductions were Veracruz [22]; Mexico State [20]; and Jalisco [10]. Mexico City, the nation’s capital, was fourth with six kidnappings, followed by Zacatecas [5].

Stats for September have not been reported yet. 

Since President Andrés Manuel López obrador took office in December 2018 up until August, a total of 3,663 people have been kidnapped in 2,874 incidents. 

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