The case involved solving the mystery behind ninety-eight documented missing people in a nearby mountain called Cristo Rey or “The King of Christ”. The mountain was named Cristo Rey because it had a tall statue of Cristo Rey at the very top of the mountain. The mountain had a trail that could be easily followed by the trail of rocks on the path. People were meant to only follow that path to the top and back down. Along the path were entrances to caves in which people were warned by the village not to go inside. Every body that went inside the cave never came out.
Four Archeologists died trying to solve the case. Archeologist Robert Avelar was the fifth Archeologist who attempted and solved the case in 1959. His hypothesis was that the inside of the mountain was hollowed and trapped the victims with quicksand. He took a team of five graduate students to help him examine the caves. Upon entering the cave, he took samples of the stones and sand from the entrances of the caves. He took them to the lab where he ran tests using rats, acid bottles, and glass plates. First, he identified the rocks as gabbro since the rocks were almost black, angular, and mafic. Then he ran test on the dust he pulled from the rocks on rats. Three rats were on trial. The rats were trained to be able to follow a maze. However, after being exposed to large amounts of the rocks, Archeologist Avelar noticed that the rats began to get lost in the maze. Therefore, Archeologist Avelar knew the problem was not in the type of rock material, but in the scent.
He made a trip back to Cristo Rey with his five graduate students each with equipped material, masks, and oxygen tanks. When they entered the cave they heard the sounds of a creek so they followed the trail along the creek. Alongside the team stumbled upon eleven deceased bodies. The hike lasted six hours and thirty-seven minutes as Archeologist Avelar recorded. The team reached an exit where a young child named Pablo greeted them. Archeologist Avelar realized that they hiked underneath the Lagoon of Machopan. The lagoon divided Sahuayo and a nearby city named Zamora. The team was taken to a small house in the village where there were three bodies resting on a bed. They were informed that each individual came out of the cave lost, confused, and starved. It was then confirmed to Archeologist Avelar that the rocks inside were infused with a poison called Andmarinide that caused hallucinations and memory lost. For years, the village took in people coming from underground with unexplained answers.
The team took the three survivors back to Sahuayo where examined their conditions and identified their names based on the records. They were returned to their families after a five-month treatment in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
When Archelogist Avelar returned in 1960, he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Medicine for finding a cure that treated the three survivors with Andmarinide.