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Source: General / Radio One

On March 3, harrowing footage of armed gunmen violently abducting a group of American travelers in Matamoros, Mexico went viral across the internet. Now, authorities have given a startling update about the individuals involved in the chilling incident.

According to CNN, two of the four Americans kidnapped on Friday were found dead, and two were found alive, Mexican officials said.

Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios was the first to confirm the status of the group.

“Unfortunately, two are dead. Investigation and intelligence work continue to capture those responsible,” he said during a press conference.

The two survivors were identified as 33-year-old mother of six, Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams.

Both are now with the FBI and have been sent to a Texas hospital for further medical treatment. Washington McGee was found uninjured. Williams was shot twice in one of his legs, his wife Michele Williams confirmed to CNN.

Sadly, their close friends Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown did not survive the violent kidnapping. Both victims were found dead, according to U.S. officials. Their bodies will be examined by Mexican authorities before their remains are sent back to the U.S.

Authorities say that all four victims were found in a “wooden house” in Matamoros. Before they were discovered, investigators say the assailants transported the group to different locations “in order to create confusion and avoid rescue efforts.”

What happened before the Matamoros kidnapping?

The news comes just days after the friends were abducted at gunpoint in Matamoros in what authorities believe may have been a case of mistaken identity.

The four South Carolina residents were a group of “tight-knit” friends that recently traveled to Mexico to assist Washington McGee with a medical procedure she had scheduled in the country. The Neighborhood Talk noted that the mother of six was in Mexico to receive “a tummy tuck.”

According to several reports, Washington McGee drove Woodard, Brown and Williams down to Mexico with her for the procedure, but she never made it to her doctor’s appointment.

Authorities say that the group got lost while trying to find the medical clinic. They tried several times to reach the office for directions but struggled to communicate with staff because they had a poor cellphone signal.

Things took a dangerous turn when the group approached the Mexican border and was fired upon by several unidentified gunmen. Video footage of the chilling attack shows several men pulling and dragging each member of the group out of their vehicle and placing them in a white pickup truck.

One suspect has been caught

Officials believe the group may have been targeted by a Mexican cartel “that likely mistook them for Haitian drug smugglers.” All four U.S. citizens have no criminal history that has been identified by investigators, officials added.

One person has been detained in connection to the incident, Tamaulipas Governor Américo Villarreal said, but officials would not confirm whether the suspect was connected to a criminal organization.

If you’re thinking about traveling down to Mexico for spring break, the State Department has issued a warning for travelers to exercise “increased caution” due to the country’s surge in crimes and kidnapping.

Spring breakers heading to Cabo, Cancun and Tulum should exercise extreme caution. Those traveling to Puerto Vallarta are urged to “reconsider travel” as “violent crime and gang activity are common.”

Matamaros, where the four victims were kidnapped, is currently labeled under “Do Not Travel” due to the violent incident.


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