Tragic death of North Carolina teacher believed to be at the ‘hands of a criminal organization’ in Mexico

DCNFNeetu Chandak, DCNF

A North Carolina Spanish-language teacher who vanished in October reportedly died at the hands of a criminal organization.

Patrick Braxton-Andrew, 34, disappeared after going for a walk in Urique, Mexico, WRAL reported Thursday.

“Based on information provided by the Chihuahua State authorities, it is with great sadness that we announce that Patrick died on October 28th at the hands of a criminal organization that operates in the area where he was traveling,” a Facebook page dedicated to finding Braxton-Andrew said Thursday.

Authorities are looking for the people responsible for the death, according to the post.

“He’s an experienced traveler, it’s not unusual for him to travel by himself,” Gary Andrew, Braxton-Andrew’s dad, said, News 2 NBC reported.

Braxton-Andrew was supposed to meet his brother Kerry Braxton-Andrew in Mexico City, according to NBC.

“That’s when I started to panic because you know, I know Patrick and I know that he sticks to his plans,” Kerry said.

Braxton-Andrew enjoyed hiking in hidden places, like South East Asia and Central America, according to Outside.

The Department of State labeled Mexico as a Level 2: exercise increased caution. The state of Chihuahua, however, is labeled as Level 3: reconsider travel. Urique is in the northern part of the state.

“As a major drug-trafficking corridor, the state of Chihuahua has been contested by major drug-trafficking organizations for years,” the Department of State reported.

Chihuahua had 1,919 homicides in 2017, according to Mexico’s Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System data.

A study estimates 132 politicians were killed in Mexico between September 2017 and June, CNN reported.

Chihuahua borders Texas and New Mexico.

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