Eric James and LaTavia McGee survived the Mexico kidnapping out of four Americans ( James Eric, LaTavia McGee, Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard) kidnapped in Mexico and were repatriated back to the United States. A heavily armed convoy of Mexican military Humvees and National Guard trucks accompanied the surviving victims of Mexico kidnapping back to the U.S. on Tuesday.
The State Department confirmed that the Mexican government provided assistance in repatriating the victims, but didn’t name them. However, LaTavia Washington McGee’s mother confirmed that she was taken to a Texas hospital and Eric James Williams’ wife stated that he was shot in the leg.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated that officials are in the process of repatriating the remains of the other two kidnapping victims. They were found dead in the border state of Tamaulipas after the group was ambushed at gunpoint on Friday.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Américo Villarreal announced that the bodies would be released to U.S. officials once autopsies had been completed. A 24-year-old suspect is in police custody. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed to seek justice for the victims, and U.S. officials are collaborating with Mexican law enforcement.
Attacks on U.S. citizens are unacceptable no matter where they occur, according to John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council. Mexican authorities have provided more information about the investigation and the victims’ ordeal while they were held captive.
According to the mayor of Lake City, South Carolina, all the individuals in the group were natives of the city. They crossed over into the border city of Matamoros from Brownsville, Texas, in a white minivan that had North Carolina license plates.
Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica informed the press that the Americans entered the city at precisely 9:18 a.m. on Friday.
The friends and family of the four victims of the Mexico kidnapping have disclosed that they embarked on a road trip so that at least one person could undergo a tummy tuck in Matamoros. However, after a mere two hours of being in the city, they became ensnared in fatal gunfire.
Mojica explained that the assailants targeted the minivan at roughly 11:45 a.m. During the violent attack, at least one Mexican citizen was killed. Subsequently, the gunmen moved all four Americans into another vehicle and fled the scene.
Over the next few days, the captors transferred the group to multiple different locations, including a clinic, in an attempt to cause confusion and thwart rescue efforts.
On Tuesday, the Tamaulipas attorney general confirmed that Mexican law enforcement is investigating every possible angle of the Mexico kidnapping, but it seems that the Americans were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The most viable theory, and likely the most accurate one, is that it was a case of mistaken identity rather than a deliberate attack,” stated Barrios Mojica.
The abduction of the individuals triggered a frenzied pursuit by the law enforcement agencies of both nations. The FBI put up a sum of $50,000 to retrieve the hostages and to apprehend those who committed the heinous act in the Mexico kidnapping.
As of Monday, there were scarce details available regarding the condition and location of the captives, although some officials suggested that the group had crossed the border for either medical procedures or to purchase drugs.
Mexican authorities have recently revealed that the aforementioned assembly was inadvertently entrapped in the line of fire of antagonistic cartels, as reported by the AP.
Numerous regions of Mexico have been subjected to terrorizing disputes between warring drug syndicates for a prolonged period of time, and Tamaulipas, in particular, is widely regarded as one of the most violent locales in the nation.
The United States Department of State advises its citizens to refrain from visiting this region on account of the prevalence of criminal activity and abductions, the more recent one being the Mexico kidnapping incident.
In addition, criminal organizations in this area are known to direct their attention toward public and private transportation vehicles, frequently abducting passengers and issuing ransom demands.