Mexican officials have reported that two out of the four US citizens who were kidnapped at gunpoint last week in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, have been found dead, while the remaining two have been rescued and are now safely back in the United States.
The four Americans, who had gone to Mexico for cosmetic surgery, were abducted by armed men on 3 March. The US Pentagon spokesperson, John Kirby, expressed condolences to the families of the victims and condemned the attacks on US citizens, stating that such incidents were unacceptable, regardless of the location or situation.
During a press conference, Américo Villarreal Anaya, the governor of Tamaulipas, confirmed that Mexico’s Attorney General’s office had verified the deaths of two of the four US citizens who were abducted in Matamoros, Mexico.
According to Tamaulipas State Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica, the two surviving victims were handed over to the US consulate in Matamoros on Tuesday, with the cooperation of Mexican officials. One man and one woman were reported to be safe and in the custody of authorities.
The US officials announced that the bodies of the deceased victims have been retrieved and are being sent back to the United States. Mr Villarreal stated that medical assistance was being provided to the survivors, and joint search operations were carried out to find the kidnapped Americans, although no specifics on how they were located were disclosed by the Tamaulipas State Attorney General’s office.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his condolences to the families, friends, and the US government over the kidnapping of four American citizens in Mexico. The victims were identified by the US media as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric James Williams, and Zindell Brown.
The FBI reported that the Americans were driving in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates through Matamoros, a city of 500,000 people located across the border from Brownsville, Texas, when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen. According to video footage, heavily armed men loaded the victims into a pickup truck.
One of them was physically forced into the vehicle, while others seemed unconscious and were dragged onto the truck. In addition to the four Americans, a Mexican woman, who was presumably a bystander, was killed during the incident on Friday.