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Young man, US citizen found dead in TJ

March 31, 2009

Mr. SHANE Pennington’s body was found  in Playas de Tijuana in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 24, 2009.  He was a victim of a stabbing, in which his own knife was  allegedly used.

The day before he died he spoke with his mother  telling her about his desire to go with friends to Baja Mexico.  His mother, who lives in North Carolina, discouraged him from going. 

According to the Orange County Register and other sources, Pennington, 19 had left North Carolina a couple years ago to be “free and live the American dream by joining the Army”.  During the last couple years he had worked on/off for a meat distributor in Anaheim CA. He lived in motels and temporary housing.

According to his employer, the company truck and $2,000 worth of meat had also disappeared.  He was last heard from the day before he died when he text messaged his employer that he was sick and wouldn’t be in to work that day.  The next day his body was found in TJ.

According to the Orange County Register of 4/8/09:

“Baja California authorities are still trying to determine who killed Pennington and why. Salvador Ortiz, assistant attorney general for Baja California, said investigators have discarded the notion of any ties to organized crime and are following up leads to determine a motive.
Ortiz said toxicology exams revealed that Pennington had undisclosed levels of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol in his system when he was killed. A Winchester knife, given to him by his mother, was found placed on his body.”
His employer also noted that his application to join the Army had been denied and he was distraught about the same.

 

 

 This was transcribed the same facts reported in various media about this unfortunate young death.  Condolences go out to his mother (his father is not apparently involved).  However, this story is the same type of story that happens every weekend in every major city in the USA involving the drug culture.  It does NOT mean Sean deserved to die, however, somehow he ended up  dead in TJ under the influence of various contraband.  And no one seems to know how.

Some may speculate he was hijacked for the truck, but his mother admits he was expressing his desire to go, and in fact, wanted to go to TJ with friends the previous weekend, but had to work.

Every media story repeats that the mother cannot find anyone to tell her “why” her son ended up dead in TJ.  Unfortunately the facts, including her own disclosure, suggests that he was a young man, “living life to the fullest”; partying in TJ, in  spite of his mother’s warning.  Of course, he left North Caroling to live the “free life” perhaps away from his mother’s supervision. 

There is more to this story as it is still fresh.  However, if the above facts, are indeed “the facts”, it is difficult to classify this case as an  “innocent” US tourist visiting Baja,  given the circumstances surrouding his death and absent compelling evidence that suggest the marijuana and cocaine were forced into his system.  It seems pretty clear that Mr. Pennington was not in TJ visiting museums or watching a bullfight. 

All the Baja Travel Advisories suggest that TJ is NOT the place to visit and engage in illegal drug transactions/consumption. Playas TJ is NOT a Cabo San Lucas Beach community.  It is NOT an American tourist destination.   I wonder if Mr. Pennington would party in the barrios of Detroit, New Orleans or East LA?

Again a sad situation.

Updated: 4-09-09

Source:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pennington-taylor-tijuana-2356412-baja-california

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