SAN DIEGO — A suspect has been arrested in connection with the slayings of an elderly California couple whose bodies were found at the bottom of a water well about two hours south of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a report.
San Diego-area residents Kathy Harvey, 73, and Ian Hirschsohn, 78, were not married but described as “best friends” who enjoyed spending time together. Hence, the pair often explored parts of Baja California, the peninsula south of the U.S. border, where Hirschsohn had a home.
After they were reported missing Sept. 2, authorities found their bodies in the well, which was about four miles away from the home, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Investigators from the Baja California Attorney General’s Office arrested the suspected killer last week, according to a statement. He was identified only by his first name and one initial, Emmanuel N., which is customary in Mexican criminal cases.
Both victims suffered stab wounds, according to the news organization.
Hirschsohn’s daughter identified the suspect as a member of the family that owned the ranch where her father’s vacation home was located. Ava Setzer said her father had owned that home for about 35 years and knew well the family that owned the ranch, including the suspected killer.
“We believe they were stabbed in their sleep in the middle of the night,” Setzer said Tuesday, adding that the killer removed all of the bedding along with the bodies, which “were put in this well in the middle of nowhere.”
— San Diego Union-Tribune (@sdut) January 27, 2021
Around the time the bodies were found, prosecutors said they believed the killer was a drug addict and would-be burglar who broke into the home thinking it was empty. Prosecutors said the killer stabbed the victims inside the home, muscled their bodies into Hirschsohn’s Toyota Land Cruiser and drove about four miles to the well to discard them.
The news of the arrest Tuesday came as welcome relief to the victims’ families, the Union-Tribune reported.
“Finally,” Setzer said. “The past couple of months, this whole process, 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.”