08 May 2024, 10:41

Parents mourn slain Australian surfers, as bodies begin long journey hom

 SYDNEY, May 8, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - The devastated parents of Australian brothers killed on a surf trip to Mexico urged wellwishers to use their memory as an inspiration to "live bigger, shine brighter and love harder", as the pair's remains began the long journey home Wednesday.

Speaking from California, Debra and Martin Robinson said that "the world has become a darker place" since the death of their sons Callum and Jake, and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad.

The trio had been scoring waves along Mexico's rugged Pacific coast, when prosecutors allege they were the victims of a murder-robbery.

Their bodies were found in a cliff-top shaft with bullet wounds to the head on Friday. Three people have since been arrested in connection with their deaths.

A Mexican judicial source said "the bodies have left" for a funeral home in Ensenada, Baja California and will be transferred to Tijuana on the Mexico-California border for embalmment before going on to San Diego.

Speaking from a San Diego beach, father Martin Robinson thanked friends and family in Australia and the United States who have offered "overwhelming support" since the men went missing.

With the ocean at their backs, mother Debra then struggled to read through prepared remarks.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Callum and Jake have been murdered," she began, her voice cracking with emotion.

"Our hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us."

She described Callum, aged 33, as a "lovable, larger-than-life character" who played professional lacrosse in the United States, where he became known as "the big koala".

Jake, aged 30, was described as a "happy, gentle and compassionate soul, who was pursuing a career in medicine" and had a keen love for surfing and cricket.

"They were young men enjoying their passion of surfing together."

"Now it is time to bring them home to family and friends and the ocean waves in Australia," she said breaking down.

"Please live bigger, shine brighter and love harder in their memory".

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