The identity of the four Americans kidnapped in Mexico is now known, although they remain missing after being abducted just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
ABC News identified the victims as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown and Eric James Williams, with McGee’s mother further identifying Woodward as a cousin. Brown’s sister also spoke with the Associated Press and said he was one of the four victims.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City announced over the weekend that the FBI was seeking the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for the assault and kidnapping of four American citizens, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas — which is located across from Brownsville. According to the press release, the missing Americans were last seen on Friday, March 03, when they crossed the border into Mexico in a white minivan. The vehicle reportedly came under fire shortly thereafter, with the four U.S. citizens being taken away in another vehicle.
Remarkably, the incident was caught on camera and a woman can be seen being loaded into the back of a pickup truck before three males who appeared to be injured were dragged to the bed of the truck.
“This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from,” Zalandria Brown said in a phone interview with the Associated Press. “To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable.”
Brown, of Florence, South Carolina, told the AP her brother and two of his friends accompanied a third friend who was going to have tummy tuck surgery in Mexico.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered a different story, saying on Monday the four Americans went to Mexico to buy medicine and that “there was a confrontation between groups, and they were detained.”
The four friends were very close and were aware of the dangers in Mexico, according to Brown. She also said her brother had some misgivings about the trip.
“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,'” Brown said.
The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to the city due to ongoing violence.
“Matamoros is home to warring factions of the Gulf drug cartel and shootouts there on Friday were so bad that the U.S. Consulate issued an alert about the danger and local authorities warned people to shelter in place,” CBS News reported. “The alert also reminded U.S. citizens that this particular part of Mexico is a ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel,’ which is the highest-level warning in the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory system. ”
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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