An internationally renowned crime expert says he believes an eastern Ontario businessman likely died in a gang-style execution.

Daniel Dion's burned-out vehicle was found about an hour northeast of Acapulco, along the southwestern coast of Mexico, over the weekend.

Family members are now waiting for DNA results to confirm the human remains found in Dion's rental car belong to the missing man.

The only identifying factor in the car was a watch Dion was wearing the night he disappeared.

"This does look like a classic gang-style execution, such as you would see as committed by the Hells Angels, for instance here in Canada, where you kill somebody and you then burn the evidence; you burn the car; you burn the body," criminologist Irvin Waller told CTV Ottawa on Monday.

He says gang activity is growing in Acapulco, and the mayor there is actually warning people to stay in at night.

Although Dion's family is still waiting for DNA confirmation, they have little doubt the remains belong to Dion.

"The people who killed Daniel were professionals and went greatly out of their way to leave as little trace of the vehicle and his body as possible . . . this leads us to believe it was a contract execution," Dion's family said in a statement.

Dion, 51, frequently travelled to Mexico where he ran an eco-friendly purse business. He was supposed to return home from a trip to Acapulco last week. However, he never got on the plane.

He was last seen dining with a friend at one of his favourite restaurants in Acapulco on Oct. 23. The next day, he failed to show up for a business meeting just outside the city.

Dion's family says he was carrying between US$500 and US$5,000 cash the night of his disappearance.

He had recently expressed concern to his family about the level of danger in the country, adding that he knew a number of people who had been murdered over the years.

Dion's family says he was considered a high-powered businessman in the area. He knew several high-level officials with the Mexican government, and his business employed up to 2,000 people.

Waller believes it may be difficult for Dion's family to get the answers they're looking for.

"You're dealing with police who may be a lot less well-trained, a lot less well-paid than you are in Canada. So, much more likely to be bribable, and also a lot more likely to make mistakes," said Waller.

Waller's book, Less Law, More Order, has prompted three Mexican states to pass crime prevention legislation.

However, he says the entire country isn't struggling to control violence. Waller says some areas of Mexico actually have lower crime rates than some areas of Canada.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem