Two of the four Americans kidnapped by drug cartels in Mexico last week have been found dead, a government official said Tuesday.
The remaining two were found alive, with one wounded, Tamaulipas Governor Américo Villarreal said. The U.S. citizens were abducted from the border city of Matamoros last Friday, where they had reportedly traveled from South Carolina so one of them could get a tummy tuck surgery.
BREAKING: Two U.S. citizens missing since their violent abduction last week in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros have been found dead and two others are alive, the state’s governor said. https://t.co/20ejhkII2u
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 7, 2023
Video showed the Americans being loaded into the back of a pickup truck by gunmen after being caught in the midst of a cartel gunfight. A Mexican woman was also killed in the crossfire, Mexican authorities said.
The FBI had announced Sunday it was assisting Mexican authorities in searching for the victims, and announced a reward of $50,000 for the return of the Americans and detainment of the criminals involved.
One of the Americans, Zindell Brown, had said before the trip the group shouldn’t travel to Mexico because of the danger, a relative told the media. The group apparently traveled together to divide up driving responsibilities, even though only one was going to receive the medical procedure. (RELATED: Ex-Mexican Security Official Convicted For Taking Millions In Bribes From Sinaloa Cartel, Helping Import Drugs Into US)
Matamoros has long been the base of operations for the Gulf Cartel, and the State Department advises Americans not to travel to the Tamaulipas state due to organized crime activity.