Mexican cartel kidnapping: Americans reportedly seen on Facebook live video shortly after crossing border
A Facebook live stream captured the moments after four kidnapped Americans crossed the border into Mexico, according to a report.
Four Americans, Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric Williams and Zindell Brown, were kidnapped by members of a Mexican cartel as they traveled across the border from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Tamaulipas last week while trying to get a tummy tuck surgery.
The FBI said in a statement that it can’t identify who survived, but Williams and McGee were identified as survivors by their families.
According to CNN, one of the men inside the minivan that the four Americans were inside recorded a Facebook live video while moving through a rundown section of Matamoros.
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“Y’all ain’t never been to Mexico,” one of the men said. “Y’all don’t know what it’s like in Mexi.”
The man later said “hola” in the video, prompting laughter from people inside the car.
Tamaulipas Gov. Americo Villarreal said that authorities found the four people inside a wooden shack guarded by a man who was then arrested.
The cartel moved the kidnapped Americans to different spots, and at one point took them to a medical clinic “to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them,” according to WBTW.
An apology letter allegedly from the cartel behind the kidnappings and killings of the Americans states that it has dealt with its members who were “involved and responsible” in the incident, adding that they were turned over to the authorities.
“We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline,” the letter states.
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A picture of five men laying face down on the pavement accompanied the letter, which also apologized to the residents of Matamoros.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a news conference on Tuesday that the two survivors had been repatriated to the U.S. “with the assistance of our Mexican partners, with the assistance of our officials in Mexico.”
The State Department is working on getting the bodies of the deceased back to the United States, but Mexican authorities say that they will be turned over after forensic work is conducted.
Barbara Burgess, the mother of survivor Latavia “Tay” McGee, said that her daughter was crying on the phone when they talked.
“I asked her how she was doing,” Burgess said. “She doing OK. She was crying because her brother got killed, and she watched him die. She watched two of them die. They died in front of her.”
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that “these sorts of attacks are unacceptable,” adding that the Biden administration stands “ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.