Victoria woman finds brother dead in Mexico

A Victoria woman who flew to Mexico to visit her brother found him dead in his home shortly after her arrival, the apparent victim of a robbery.

John Wesley Cornelson, 67, had dropped off his sister, Barb Denney, and her friend at a hotel after they arrived Tuesday in La Paz, about 140 kilometres north of Los Cabos International Airport, in the state of Baja California Sur.

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When he didn’t show for breakfast Wednesday as they’d agreed, she got a neighbour to open the door to his house. Denney found Cornelson dead in the dwelling, the man’s other sister, Darlene Tait, said from her Victoria home.

A Mexican news report said it appeared he had been hit on the head with a shovel and his house had been ransacked. His beige, 2000 Buick with Canadian plates was gone.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed a Canadian was murdered in Mexico, but would not release the name.

Tait said her brother had lived alone in the city that she called “an authentic Mexico working city that doesn’t cater to tourism.” He chose to live among the locals in the city, rather than where non-Mexicans lived.

“He was just living a quiet life down there,” she said. “He was just looking to get away from Edmonton winters.”

Occasionally, family members would visit Cornelson, who was divorced and had no children, and last worked as a city bus driver in Edmonton. Tait said her brother was security conscious and had iron gates around his property that he had to open to drive through.

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