Officials state two Americans who went to Mexico for a medical procedure were kidnapped at gunpoint, resulting in the death of two friends.
The two survivors have since returned to the US and are receiving treatment at a hospital. Following the incident, authorities launched a days-long search for the travelers and eventually located them in a “wooden house” in or around Matamoros, a Mexican border city. Tamaulipas Governor Américo Villarreal announced this development on Tuesday.
In the days they were missing, he said, the group had been taken to several places “to create confusion and avoid rescue efforts.”
According to a US official familiar with the ongoing investigation, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, the victims, were discovered deceased at the location. The source also mentioned that their remains will be returned to the US after a Mexican medical examiner completes a forensic examination to establish the cause of their demise.
The surviving travelers are Latavia Washington McGee, who had no injuries, and Eric Williams, who was wounded, Villarreal said.
Michele Williams informed CNN that her husband, who had been shot three times in the legs, was taken to a hospital in Texas for surgery. During a phone call with his wife, Williams was said to be very emotional, as he regarded the deceased victims, Woodard and Brown, as his “brothers.” Additionally, Michele shared that their 11-year-old son was relieved to hear from his father.
The FBI confirmed Tuesday that Williams and Washington McGee had been transported to a hospital in the US.
A US official who is familiar with the investigation informed CNN that investigators suspect that the Americans were intentionally singled out by a Mexican cartel, possibly under the false assumption that they were Haitian drug smugglers.
“Attacks on US citizens are unacceptable, no matter where or under what circumstances they occur,” National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said Tuesday. He said the US is working with the Mexican government “to ensure that justice is done in this case.”