By Harriet Sokmensuer
January 03, 2019 01:55 PM

Two New Mexico teens were found dead weeks after authorities were notified of a video circulating on social media that appeared to show the pair being beaten.

The bodies of Collin Romero, 15, and 14-year-old Ahmed Lateef were found buried over the weekend, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office announced Dec. 31, according to local stations KOAT and KRQE.

Police believe the teens were allegedly part of a drug deal gone wrong,according to Crime Stoppers.

Collin was reported missing before Christmas by his mother after she heard about a Snapchat video and picture showing her son and Ahmed being beaten and having “what appeared to be broken bones,” according to Crime Stoppers.

She told local station KOAT that a friend of Collin’s called her, saying he was worried for Collin after he went to buy marijuana from a friend and never returned.

“There were broken bones, and they were being pistol-whipped repeatedly, and in the back seat of the vehicle they were unconscious,” Collin’s mother said of the video.

From left: Collin Romero, Ahmed Lateef
Crime Stoppers

The teens’ causes of death are being investigated and it remains unclear how long they’ve been dead, the stations report. Authorities say they are now treating the case as a homicide investigation.

“It was a very violent scene and we are looking and waiting for the Office of the Medical Investigator to determine the cause in the matter of death,” Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Keith Elder told KOAT.

At the time of his death, Ahmed had a felony warrant for his arrest and was an alleged “absconder of the law,” according to Crime Stoppers.

During the holiday week, dozens of volunteers searched the area.

“I had so many plans for this Christmas,” Collin’s mom told KOAT. “This was the first Christmas I could really afford to do a lot. I had the Christmas tree up and lights, my son always wanted me to do stuff like that but, money was always an issue. This is the first time it wasn’t and he doesn’t get to see any of it.”

Authorities have asked local teenagers to share any information that may be helpful.

“We’re really asking for the younger community to take this seriously,” Collin’s mom told KOB4. 

Anything with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP.

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