Canadian found in trunk of torched car in Mexico

Contract killers murdered Canadian businessman Daniel Dion and stuffed his body into the trunk of his rental car in southern Mexico before setting it ablaze, his family believes.

“Considering what we know and have seen, the people that killed Daniel were professional and went greatly out of their way to leave as little trace of the vehicle and his body as possible,” said a statement from his family.

“This leads us to believe it was a contract execution.”

His family said the few details they know about his death are because they did their own investigation.

“…If we wouldn’t have done this, our family member would remain unfound,” the statement said.

Dion’s family sensed something had gone horribly wrong more than a week before the Canadian businessman’s body was found Sunday.

Family members had flown to Mexico from Ottawa after he suddenly stopped making his daily phone calls home following a meeting a week ago in the resort city of Acapulco.

Dion, who lived near Ottawa and was originally from Sherbrooke, Que., carried somewhere between $500 and $5,000 US at the time of his disappearance, his family said.

He ran Ecopurse Mexico, a company that employs inmates making bags from recycled materials and which “gave work to over 2,000 Mexicans: prisoners and people of the poor communities of Costa Chica and Costa Grande,” his family said in an email.

His family said the last time he was seen alive was on Oct. 22, when he was heading towards a restaurant called Barbarjoia with a business associate.

Dion, who had a home in Taxco, Mexico, was scheduled to fly home on Oct. 26.

Someone tried to use one of his credit cards on Oct. 23, but it was declined.

Not long after that, family members flew to Mexico to try to help authorities find him.

At first, the family hoped to free him by paying a ransom, but no ransom demand ever came.

On Sunday, his charred remains and his watch were found in the trunk of his rental Volkswagon Jetta, on a road in Zumpango del Rio, about 130 kilometres from Acapulco.

Acapulco Mayor Jose Luis Avila Sanchez recently warned people to stay indoors after dark while a Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade website cautions tourists to exercise caution in Guerrero state, among other areas.

While Acapulco remains a popular getaway for tourists, it has been hit by drug-gang violence in recent years.

Fighting between two rival factions of the crumbling Beltran Leyva drug cartel has resulted in shootouts and deaths.

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