Five police officers, one of them retired, were abducted from their homes and murdered in violence-wracked northern Mexico on Saturday, a local mayor said.
The three men and two women, aged between 30 and 48, were grabbed at dawn by armed men, Benito Caballero, mayor of the Apodaca district in the city of Monterrey, told media.
Their bodies, exhibiting signs of torture, were found hours later in an abandoned plot of land with a message from a criminal group, a source close to the investigation said. One of the officers had been decapitated.
Northern Mexico is at the center of a nearly four-year-old war involving rival drug gangs vying for smuggling routes into the United States, and Mexican police and soldiers cracking down on them.
Nearly 23,000 people have died in the conflict.