The FBI, in collaboration with federal partners and local authorities, is investigating the kidnapping of four American citizens in Mexico, which occurred on Friday.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City confirmed that the victims, who were travelling in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates, crossed into Matamoros in Tamaulipas, a northeastern state in Mexico, just south of Brownsville, Texas.
Upon entering Mexico, the passengers were shot by unknown assailants who then abducted the four Americans and fled in another vehicle.
The embassy has identified the kidnapped individuals as Latavia Tay McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams.
McGee’s mother stated that her daughter and cousin, Woodard, were among the kidnapped victims, along with their friends Brown and Williams.
Sources close to the Mexican investigation have reported that Williams’ North Carolina driver’s license was discovered at the scene of the crime.
According to Barbara Burgess, the mother of Latavia Tay McGee, who is one of the kidnapped victims, her daughter traveled from South Carolina to Mexico for a cosmetic medical procedure despite her warnings not to go.
Burgess recounted that before departing on Wednesday, she advised her daughter against the trip, but McGee replied reassuringly, “Ma, I’ll be OK.” On the day of the appointment, Friday, Burgess received a call from her daughter, who stated that she was just 15 minutes away from the doctor’s office.
However, when Burgess attempted to contact McGee later that day, she was unable to reach her, and her calls went directly to voicemail. An FBI agent subsequently visited Burgess and showed her a photo of Williams, who has been identified as the driver.
During her conversation with the FBI agent, Burgess confirmed that Williams was the individual with whom her daughter and nephew had been travelling to Mexico.
Corsica Cameron, a cousin of both Woodard and McGee, spoke to FOX3 and expressed the family’s anguish and desire for information.
Cameron revealed that McGee, a mother of five, cherished her children, whom she referred to as her pride and joy.
Cameron disclosed that the family does not know what to say to McGee’s children and that they are longing for their loved ones’ safe return.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed during his daily press conference on Monday that the American citizens were taken when they became embroiled in a confrontation between various groups while crossing the border to purchase medicine.
López Obrador emphasized that the Mexican government is fully committed to resolving the matter and is working tirelessly towards that end.
On Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre disclosed that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the case of the four missing U.S. citizens.
The White House revealed that the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Mexican authorities are collaborating on the investigation. Jean-Pierre condemned the assault and kidnapping, labeling such acts as unacceptable.
She expressed her sympathy for the families of the victims and emphasized that the U.S. is ready to provide all necessary consular assistance while continuing to coordinate with Mexico to bring the perpetrators to justice.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price also affirmed that the department is closely monitoring the situation and standing by to offer appropriate consular assistance. Price acknowledged that the FBI is working diligently with federal and Mexican law enforcement agencies to investigate the case.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar stated that numerous U.S. law enforcement officials are working with Mexican authorities at all levels to secure the safe return of the kidnapped Americans.
The embassy disclosed that the FBI is soliciting the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for the crime and is offering a $50,000 reward. Anyone with information can contact the FBI’s San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741.