A security guard at the Venus Motel near the southern city of Ixtapa found Tamayo’s body at 7:30 a.m., local police Cmdr. Mario Cruz Gallardo told CPJ. Motel staff said that Tamayo, editor and owner of the daily El Despertar de la Costa in the nearby city of Zihuatanejo, arrived at the motel at about 1:30 a.m., according to local press reports. The car in which he was believed to have arrived left the motel parking lot two hours before the body was found, El Despertar de la Costa reported.
Tamayo had left his office at 9 a.m. the day before, November 9, to have breakfast with the manager of a local bus company, said his sister, Rebeca Tamayo. The editor called the office at 10:30 a.m. to give instructions to a reporter looking into a story on water quality in a nearby town. Tamayo didn’t return to work that day, and he did not answer cell phone calls from colleagues. At 3 a.m. on November 10, Tamayo’s family notified authorities that he was missing.
Ruth Tamayo, another sister, said the local coroner told her that a preliminary autopsy found that her brother died from a massive heart attack. In an interview with CPJ, Ruth Tamayo said she viewed the body and saw what appeared to be three small puncture marks in one arm. Both Ruth and Rebecca Tamayo work at the family-run El Despertar de la Costa.
Tamayo’s family and colleagues said that he was critical of local government corruption and criminal activities. Tamayo’s sisters told CPJ that their brother had received a threatening call from an unidentified individual two months prior to his death, but Tamayo did not take the threat seriously.