A North Carolina teacher’s body was found in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after he was declared dead Thursday, according to the state’s governor.
Patrick Braxton-Andrew’s body was buried and then exhumed, Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral said, according to The Associated Press.
He said Braxton-Andrew was potentially killed by drug dealer José Noriel Portillo Gil, known as “The Crooked,” a Facebook post from Corral said Thursday, citing the attorney general’s office. (RELATED: Teacher Suspended After Telling Students To Remember Him If He Died Protecting Them In Shooting [VIDEO])
It is unclear why Braxton-Andrew was targeted, reported The Charlotte Observer. He was not trying to get any marijuana or drugs, according to investigators.
“I also offered him and his beautiful family that not only will we find Patrick’s body, but we will also do justice and give exemplary punishment to this offender, who by acting with that cowardice put an end to his influence and [sic] control of that area, under the Sinaloa Cartel [sic],” Corral’s post, translated here into English, said.
The 34-year-old Spanish teacher at Woodlawn School in Mooresville, North Carolina, went for a hike in Copper Canyon National Park before he was declared missing in October. The region where Braxton-Andrew went hiking is known as the Golden Triangle by locals because Mexican cartels grow many of the drugs that are then brought to the U.S., Outside reported.
Officials are looking for Portillo Gil, who is part of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the AP.
The cartel was formerly run by drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera. Loera, or “El Chapo,” escaped a Mexican prison through a tunnel in 2015. El Chapo is on trial for a 17-count indictment on charges including trafficking drugs and murder conspiracy.