Prosecutors in western Mexico say they have located 23 sets of skeletal remains in a lakeside community known for its highly acidic hot springs and mud pits.
The prosecutors office in Mexico's Michoacan says only eight of the bodies have been identified, mainly by clothing or dental records. The office said on Sunday that the rest of the bodies have so badly deteriorated that DNA testing will likely be necessary.
It is unclear if the criminals intentionally dumped the bodies in the area known as Los Negritos — after the mud facial masks popular there — so they would disappear more quickly. The area is near the town of La Barca, where authorities in 2013 found more than five dozen bodies in mass graves linked to the Jalisco cartel.
Drug cartels in Mexico frequently use clandestine burial pits to dispose of the bodies of kidnapping victims or rivals. Mexico currently has more than 100,000 people listed as missing, the Associated Press reported.