‘Like A Bad Dream’: Family Speaks Out After Mexico Kidnapping

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Family members of the four individuals kidnapped in Mexico on March 3 have spoken out, saying the victims had traveled to the country for a medical procedure.

“This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from,” Zalandria Brown told the Associated Press (AP).

Brown’s brother Zindell was one of four individuals kidnapped at gunpoint in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas near the town of Matamoros, home to warring factions of the Gulf drug cartel. Zindell’s companions have been identified as Latavia McGee, Shaeed Woodard and Eric James Williams, the BBC reported. (RELATED: Priests Gunned Down, Tourists Kidnapped Near US Border In Mexico)

“To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable,” Brown continued.

The group made the trip because McGee was scheduled to undergo a tummy tuck in the country, AP reported. The four friends allegedly made the trip together to help split up the driving duties, despite being aware of the dangers associated with that part of Mexico, according to the outlet.

“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,’” Brown said.

McGee’s mother, Barbara Burgess, reportedly voiced her own misgivings, telling her daughter to reconsider the trip, but her daughter said, “Ma, I’ll be ok,” according to BBC.

Armed gunmen assailed the group not long after they crossed into Mexico. Another vehicle hit the group’s white minivan in an intersection before gunfire broke out, a witness told AP. A different SUV carrying armed gunmen then approached the scene, the witness added.

“All of a sudden they (the gunmen) were in front of us,” the unnamed witness told the outlet. “I entered a state of shock, nobody honked their horn, nobody moved. Everybody must have been thinking the same thing, ‘If we move they will see us, or they might shoot us.'”

Tamaulipas’ chief prosecutor, Irving Barrios, said a Mexican woman was killed in shootings that occurred in the state March 3, though he did not specify whether it was directly related to the incident, AP reported.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised his “entire government” is attempting to free the captured Americans, the BBC reported. The FBI has announced a reward of $50,000 for the return of the victims and detainment of the individual(s) involved.