Two U.S. citizens confirmed dead, blame placed on Mexican drug cartel

US officials have confirmed that two of the four U.S. citizens who went missing after a violent kidnapping in Mexico last week are deceased.  The other two have been found alive.

Mexico’s security secretary was able to identify the surviving US citizens as Latavia “Tay” McGee and Eric James Williams. Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal confirmed that one of the surviving victims was wounded, the other one was unharmed.

Williams was said to have been shot twice, which was confirmed by his wife, while McGee had no visible injuries.

CBS News reported earlier on in the day that the other two US citizens were identified as Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard.

The victims were located in  a “wooden house” in Matamoros and had been transported to several locations over the few days of their ordeal “in order to create confusion and avoid rescue efforts,” Villarreal said.

Villareal confirmed that one person had been detained in relation to the kidnapping, but he didn’t confirm whether the person belonged to a criminal organization.

The four US citizens, Williams, McGee, Zindell Brown and McGee’s cousin Shaeed Woodard crossed the border and arrived in Matamoros, Mexico, on Friday morning.  Matamoros is located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

The purpose of their trip was for McGee to undergo a medical procedure.

“Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen shot the passengers of the vehicle,” the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said. The group had been traveling in a white minivan.

The FBI said that the group were then, “placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men.”

US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar confirmed that a Mexican civilian was also killed in the shootout.




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