MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two U.S. citizens missing since their violent abduction last week in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros have been found dead and two others are alive, the state’s governor said Tuesday.
Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal said that one of the surviving U.S. citizens was wounded and the other was not.
The FBI had reported Sunday that it was searching with Mexican authorities for the missing Americans, who had been kidnapped Friday. A relative of one of them said Monday that they had traveled together from South Carolina so one of them could get a tummy tuck from a Matamoros doctor.
Shortly after entering Mexico Friday, they were caught in the crossfire of rival cartel groups. A video showed them being loaded into the back of a pickup truck by gunmen.
Villarreal confirmed the deaths by phone during a morning news conference by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, saying details about the four abducted Americans had been confirmed by prosecutors.
“Of the four, two of them are dead, one person is wounded and the other is alive and right now the ambulances and the rest of the security personnel are going for them to give the corresponding support,” Villarreal said.
The governor did not share any additional details about where or how they were found.
Mexican officials said a Mexican woman also had died in Friday’s crossfire.
The incident illustrates the terror that has prevailed for years in Matamoros, a city dominated by factions of the powerful Gulf drug cartel who often fight among themselves. Amid the violence, thousands of Mexicans have disappeared in Tamaulipas state alone.