Man Arrested in the Killings of American Couple Found at Bottom of Well in Mexico

An American couple missing for nearly two weeks has been found dead in a well in Northern Mexico, officials said Monday. The victims were identified as retirees Ian Hirschsohn, 78, and Kathy Harvey, 73, according to the Baja California state prosecutors office.

The suspect, identified only by his first name and last initial, Emmanuel N., as is customary, in Mexican criminal cases reportedly knew the couple. 

A suspect has been arrested in the murders of an American couple whose remains were found at the bottom of a well in Baja California, the Baja California Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday.

Ian Hirschsohn, 78, and Kathy Harvey, 73 were reportedly stabbed to death while asleep in bed at Hirschorn’s vacation home in the quaint beach town of El Socorrito, according to prosecutors and the victim’s families, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. 

The couple had been reported missing on Sept. 2, 2020 and their bodies were found three days later, the Union-Tribune reported.

The suspect, Emmanuel N., was identified only by his first name and one initial, as is customary in Mexican criminal cases, was arrested last week, according to a statement by the attorney general’s office. 

Investigators said there was enough evidence to charge Emmanuel N. with the couple’s murders, People magazine reported.  

The suspect is a member of the family that owned the ranch where Hirschsohn's vacation home was located, and knew the family well, a family member told the Union-Tribune.

According to prosecutors, the suspect, who they believe was a drug addict, planned to burglarize the El Socorrito home thinking it was empty, and stabbed the victims inside before putting their bodies in the couple’s Toyota Land Cruiser and drove about four miles to the well to discard of the bodies.

The victims' families expressed relief that they now had closure.  

“Finally,” Anne Setzer, Hirschorn’s daughter said. “I can't even describe how difficult it's been." 

Harvey's son, Robert, said there is "comfort in knowing he's going to have to pay for it, that he's not going to get away with it."

In late summer, family members grew concerned when they were unable to reach them. Robert Harvey, Harvey's son, said the last time he had heard from his mother was on a text message who told him that they were planning to visit a gold mine or the beach, in a previously reported story reported The New York Post.

On Sept. 2 when the pair never returned to their vacation home, someone from their community reported their disappearance to authorities.

Hirschsohn, a widower, retired aerospace engineer and former Princeton University graduate, and Harvey, who was originally from New York and worked as physical therapist before her retirement in 2014, were scheduled to arrive home to San Diego three days after they went missing. 

Their children told CBS-TV affiliate KFMB in a previously reported story, that they both enjoyed retirement and were part of a “vibrant ex-pat community.” 

Setzer said her father purchased the house in El Socorrito in 1985 and was a “seasoned veteran of Baja travel.”

Harvey said his mother, who was a breast cancer survivor, "had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go.”