By Anna Cearley
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
November 16, 2007
TIJUANA – Armed men burst into Ensenada's morgue Wednesday night and took the body of a man who died in a helicopter crash this week. The group later killed two police officers who attempted to stop them.

The dead man taken from the morgue was identified as Pablo González. It was unclear whether that is his real name and why such measures were taken to recover the body.

Mexican media reported he was believed to be a member of the region's Arellano Félix drug cartel.

The unusual events started Tuesday afternoon when a helicopter crashed south of Ensenada, along a road that connects the coastal city with the Valle de la Trinidad, Baja California authorities said.
The helicopter, which had become tangled in electric lines, crashed near a route being used for the Baja 1000 race, forcing race participants to be rerouted, Tijuana's Frontera newspaper reported.

The helicopter reportedly had been following the race course. The race began Tuesday in Ensenada and ends tomorrow in Cabo San Lucas.

Two people were found dead at the crash site: González and a man identified as Ismael Romo Reyes. Two people were injured and were being treated at an Ensenada hospital, state authorities said.

About 9 p.m. Wednesday, armed men stormed Ensenada's morgue. They initially took two state social workers hostage as they grabbed González's body, the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

The unidentified workers were released and are in good health, Mexican authorities said.

Mexican law enforcement officials pursued the group, and a shootout occurred on the road that connects Ensenada to Tecate. Ensenada police officers Enrique Lemus Hinojosa and Salvador González Quijano were killed. The assailants escaped with González's body.