The bodies of two of the four Americans kidnapped in Mexico were discovered on Monday, while the other two were rescued alive on Tuesday.
Family members have confirmed that Eric James Williams and Latavia “Tay” McGee, the two survivors, have returned to the United States.
Williams, McGee, Zindell Brown, and McGee’s cousin Shaeed Woodard, four Americans, landed at Matamoros, Mexico, in the state of Tamaulipas on Friday morning, just south of Brownsville, Texas.
Unknown assailants opened fire on the car shortly after entering Mexico, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reported. The group of Americans had been in a white minivan.
The embassy reported that the attackers forced the four Americans into another car before taking off.
In a press conference, Tamaulipas’ attorney general, Irving Barrios, said the Americans were not the intended target.
“It seems like it was a misunderstanding,” Barrios said.
A source close to the inquiry in Mexico told ABC News that the kidnappers may have mistaken the Americans for competing people traffickers.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Mexican officials announced they had located two survivors in a wooden house in the Lagunona region outside of Matamoros. A source close to the inquiry informed ABC News that one of the bodies was discovered inside the home, and the other was discovered outside.
Williams, according to Tamaulipas governor Américo Villarreal, was shot in the leg.
Villarreal claims that the Americans were moved about during their three days of detention to muddy the waters and foil rescue operations.
There has been a single detention. According to Mexican authorities, the 24-year-old suspect cared for the victims in the home where they were discovered.
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar tweeted that “2 Americans kidnapped in Mexico found dead, 2 found alive”
Weakness at home equals weakness abroad. Enemy cartels no longer fear us, and sadly these are the consequences. We pray for the family of the victims. 🙏🏼
2 Americans kidnapped in Mexico found dead, 2 found alive https://t.co/qXVINmsmjd
— Rep. María Elvira Salazar (@RepMariaSalazar) March 7, 2023
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Who Is Alive?
McGee, a mother of five from South Carolina, was one of the lucky ones who made it out of the plane crash in Mexico alive.
Barbara Burgess told ABC News that she “had to hold my heart” when the FBI agents came to her house on Tuesday to tell her that her daughter was still alive.
Burgess said McGee told her mother on Tuesday that she was well and being treated in a hospital in Texas.
Michele Williams, the wife of Williams, the second survivor, told ABC News that her husband called her while he was being airlifted to a hospital in Texas.
She explained that she was crying happy tears.
According to Michele Williams, her husband was shot three times in one leg and once in the other, according to information provided by the FBI. She revealed that he had surgery in Texas to treat his injuries.
The survivors were taken to a hospital near the Brownsville Port of Entry, the FBI stated on Tuesday. One victim “received substantial bodily injuries during the incident,” the FBI stated.
The FBI has stated that they are investigating the crime scene and collaborating with federal and international partners “to discover the facts and to hold those responsible for this horrible and brutal attack accountable for their crimes.”
Mexican authorities have announced that the bodies of the two Americans who were killed would be returned to the United States on Tuesday. According to State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday afternoon, the agency is “in the process” of producing the two bodies.
A source close to the inquiry has told ABC News that autopsies will be performed on the two people who were killed.
In a press conference with reporters on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “We send our heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those killed in these acts.”
Price stated, “The challenge is to guarantee that justice is done. We appreciate our Mexican and U.S. law enforcement colleagues’ efforts to locate these innocent victims.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that the families had been contacted, and President Joe Biden has been “kept updated” on the matter.
Attacks on American people are “reprehensible,” according to Jean-Pierre.
In a statement released on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed to do “all in our power” to bring those responsible for the attack to justice.
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