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More Details, and an Arrest Made, in the Case of Four Americans Abducted, Two Killed, in Mexico.

What should have been a friendly road trip turned into a nightmare for four families when their loved ones were abducted in Mexico. We previously reported that the four friends went to the country so that one of them could receive a medical procedure. The group was ambushed by an unknown Mexican cartel, their van riddled with bullets, and abducted. Sadly, two of the four died.

Latavia Washington McGee, a mother of six, and Eric Williams (both pictured below) survived the ordeal but their friends Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown were found dead. McGee was found uninjured. Williams was shot twice in one leg and once in the other, his wife, Michele Williams told reporters.

An innocent Mexican bystander was also killed in the encounter, US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said. The woman was hit by a stray bullet almost a block and a half from where the Americans were taken, Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal said on Tuesday.

The group crossed into Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas, at about 9:18 a.m. Friday, Villareal said, but they got lost while trying to locate the medical clinic, according to Washington McGee’s close friend, who did not want to be identified. They reached out to the doctor’s office for directions on Friday but were struggling to communicate with the office because they had a poor cellphone signal.

After crossing the border, they were fired upon by unidentified gunmen, “placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” according to the FBI.

Investigators believe the Americans were targeted by a Mexican cartel that likely mistook them for Haitian drug smugglers, the US official said. The US citizens have no concerning criminal history that has been identified by investigators, the official said.

The victims were found in a “wooden house” in Matamoros and had been transferred to various places over the days “in order to create confusion and avoid rescue efforts,” Villarreal said.

One man, only identified as 24-year-old Jose "N", has been detained in connection with the abduction plot, shooting and deaths. Video obtained by news outlets clearly shows that this was more than a one man operation but, at this time, Jose "N" is the only one being held responsible. Jose "N" may have been the gunman guarding the abducted Americans when they were found.

The US State Department has issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for US citizens thinking of going to Tamaulipas, citing crime and kidnapping.

Williams and McGee have been transported back to the United States and are receiving care here.


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