4 missing children found suffocated in Mexico

Four children who vanished on their way to primary school have been discovered suffocated and buried on a ranch not far from their homes in southern Mexico, according to Tabasco state authorities.

Three of the children being buried on Saturday were siblings and another was their neighbor in the colonial town of Tapijulapa. Their ages ranged from 7 to 10.

The state Attorney General's Office said that the mothers became alarmed when their children did not return from school Tuesday afternoon, and when they went to question school officials, found that the students had never arrived.

The bodies were discovered on Friday in shallow graves at a ranch named "Honey and Milk" about two miles (three kilometers) outside the town, which is in the municipality of Tacotalpa. Their faces had been covered with brown packing tape, which caused them to suffocate, the agency said in its statement issued Friday.

The motive for the killings remained unclear, but officials said there was no sign of organ trafficking.