A distraught Chicago family is desperately searching for answers after they say a husband and father of three has mysteriously vanished in Mexico.
Hugo Ruiz was on site at a construction job in Mexico City for a five-month project and set to come home Friday. But the 38-year-old never made it to the airport.
Ruiz came back to Chicago every other week, his family says, and was always excited to see his wife, two teens and toddler. His sister Brenda Ruiz, who spoke to him last on Thursday, said he was planning to be in the Wisconsin Dells with his family Monday. The trip never ended up happening.
“The last conversation was on Thursday, he called me just to let me know he definitely wanted to go to the family gathering and to pick him up at the airport,” Brenda Ruiz said.
Heartbroken family members showed NBC Chicago hotel surveillance footage from that same Thursday in Mexico, the last night before his scheduled Friday afternoon flight.
“You see him standing there with his book bag,” Brenda Ruiz said. “I know for a fact that's him. He carries that book bag everywhere. Even here.”
Hugo was scheduled to meet his aunt in the Mexico City airport a few hours before his flight, but he never showed up.
“Something is wrong,” family friend Sarah Decorah said. “We want him home.”
Through tears, family and friends say they just want to know if he is safe.
“It’s very suspicious,” Decorah said. “I definitely think there is someone behind it that is keeping him against his will.”
Hugo’s employer, Lend Lease, has investigators and attorneys on the case, but his family is begging for more.
They say they have reached out to the Mexican Embassy but have yet to hear back.
“Just let us know that he is OK,” Brenda Ruiz pleaded.
U.S. Embassy officials weren't available to speak with NBC Chicago Monday night.