Person detained in Mexico in connection with kidnapped Americans that left 2 dead, 2 rescued


Update: Tamaulipas, Mexico, Gov. Américo Villarreal confirmed one person has been detained in connection with the kidnapping of 4 Americans in Matamoros. The four were found in a wooden shack, where they were being guarded by a man who was arrested. Villarreal said the captive Americans had been moved around by their captors, and at one point were taken to a medical clinic “to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them.”


Mexican authorities confirmed the discovery of the four U.S. citizens missing since their abduction last week in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros on Friday. Authorities found 2 of the hostages killed and 2 recovered alive. Tamaulipas, Mexico, Gov. Américo Villarreal said that one of the surviving U.S. citizens was wounded and the other was not. Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios tweeted“Derived from the joint search actions, the four American citizens deprived of their liberty last Friday were found. Unfortunately, two dead. Investigation and intelligence work continue to capture those responsible. Details will be given later.”

The FBI had reported Sunday that it was searching with Mexican authorities for the missing Americans, who had been kidnapped Friday. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that shortly after entering Mexico, the four Americans were caught in the crossfire of rival cartel groups. A video showed them being loaded into the back of a pickup truck by gunmen. The U.S. embassy in Mexico said that gunmen shot into a vehicle containing the four Americans and subsequently “herded them into another vehicle and fled the scene with them. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said a Mexican bystander was also killed.

The four Americans who were kidnapped were identified as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric James Williams and Zindell Brown. A relative said Monday that they had traveled together from South Carolina so one of them could get a tummy tuck from a Matamoros doctor.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed during a press briefing that both survivors had been returned to the U.S. by Tuesday afternoon, and 0fficials were still “in the process of working to repatriate the remains” of the two victims who were killed.  Price also told reporters: “The investigation is in its earliest days. I understand we may have more to share from the FBI at the appropriate time.”

Editorial credit: Matt Gush /