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Two Of Four Americans Kidnapped In Mexico Found Dead, One Survivor Injured

Mexico City, MEXICO – The President of Mexico announced on Tuesday morning that two of the U.S. citizens who were kidnapped at gunpoint in northern Mexico last week were found dead.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also said on March 7 that two of the Americans who were forced into kidnappers’ vehicles at gunpoint were found alive, ABC News reported.

Tamaulipas Governor Américo Villarreal said that one of the victim’s found alive was injured but did not go into details about the survivor’s medical condition.

Obrador said that authorities have arrested one suspect in connection with the fatal attack on the Americans who had traveled into Mexico so that one of their group could get plastic surgery in the city of Matamoros, ABC News reported.

“We are very sorry that this happened in our country and we send our condolences to the families of the victims, friends, and the United States government, and we will continue doing our work to guarantee peace and tranquility,” the Mexican president said.

Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica tweeted that the four U.S. citizens were found by “joint search actions” between Mexican and U.S. authorities and said the search for additional suspects was ongoing.

Authorities and family members have identified the Americans who were kidnapped as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams, ABC News reported.

Officials have not said which of the four Americans were dead and which were found alive.

Aliyah McLeod, McGee’s cousin, told ABC News that the group had traveled from South Carolina in a rented minivan with North Carolina license plates.

McLeod said that group had traveled to Mexico for McGee to have a “medical procedure” done, ABC News reported.

A police source said the woman was scheduled for cosmetic surgery in the Mexican city, the Associated Press reported.

The official told ABC News that the group of South Carolinians was targeted by the gunmen in a case of mistaken identity.

Zalandria Brown said that her younger brother, Zindell, was part of the group that had traveled from Myrtle Beach to accompany their friend who was getting a tummy tuck, the Associated Press reported.

Brown said the friends had gone along to help split up the driving.

She said her brother was worried about their safety before the trip, NBC News reported.

“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,’” Brown told the Associated Press.

But the four American citizens did go and were kidnapped at gunpoint on March 3 shortly after they crossed the border from Brownsville, Texas, when gunmen opened fire on their minivan in the northern city of Matamoros and incident was captured on video.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) San Antonio office released a statement about the March 3 kidnapping on Sunday that said the vehicle full of Americans came under fire shortly after it crossed into Mexico, the Associated Press reported.

“All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” the statement read.

Obrador said on March 6 that the kidnap victims had crossed the border into Mexico and got caught in the crossfire between two armed groups, the Associated Press reported.

The warring factions of the Gulf drug cartel engaged in shootouts on March 3 that were so bad that the U.S. Consulate issued an alert about the danger.

Local authorities warned residents to shelter in place, according to the Associated Press.

Tamaulipas State Police said people had been killed and wounded during the shootouts on March 3 but would not say how many victims there were, the Associated Press reported.

The state police said Friday’s shootouts did not involve law enforcement or Mexican military.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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