Yesterday (March 6), video began circulating on social media showing a group of travelers being forced into the backseat of a pickup truck at gunpoint. The grave situation took place in broad daylight and allegedly showed four Americans being kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, a city just along the Texas border.
Unfortunately, that incident has been confirmed with even more unsettling news. Officials have announced that two of the four Americans have been found dead, CNN said today (March 7). Of the two surviving hostages, one is severely injured. Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal Anaya alerted Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the ordeal and the audio was shared at a press conference. The members of the group were identified as four Black South Carolina residents — Latavia “Tay” Washington McGee, 33, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown and Eric Williams.
They kidnapped 4 black folks in Mexico in broad daylight pic.twitter.com/tpPRHjkYZv
— Poetik Flakko (@FlakkoPoetik) March 6, 2023
They were described as a tight-knit group who traveled with McGee, a mother of six, so that she could undergo a medical procedure. As they traveled through Mexico, the group was cut off in traffic by a Mexican cartel who reportedly mistook them for Haitian drug smugglers, investigators believe. Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios noted that the attack happened late last week. “Derived from the joint search actions, the four American citizens deprived of their liberty last Friday (March 3) were found. Unfortunately, two dead. Investigation and intelligence work continue to capture those responsible. Details will be given later.” Ken Salazar, United States ambassador to Mexico, added that an innocent Mexican bystander was also killed during the abduction.
McGee’s mother told CNN the 33-year-old never made it to her doctor’s appointment in Mexico. The family found out about the kidnapping after seeing videos on social media. “We recognized her and her blonde hair. This happened in plain daylight,” her aunt told the outlet. The FBI is working with Mexican authorities and has offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with knowledge that can lead to an arrest. The U.S. State Department has also implemented a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for U.S. citizens considering visiting the area due to the threat of crime and kidnapping.
See related posts below.
BREAKING – SAD: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador just announced that two of the four Americans kidnapped in Mexico have been found dead, while the other two have been found alive. pic.twitter.com/py9pqt0Tay
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) March 7, 2023
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) March 7, 2023
#BREAKING: The North Carolina Beat has identified the four US citizens kidnapped in #Mexico as 32-year-old Latavia Washington, 28-year-old Zindell Brown, 33-year-old Shaeed Woodard, and Eric Wise, all of #SouthCarolina.
CLick to read more: https://t.co/YQJDyK9vjz pic.twitter.com/3zQH6ht2dO
— The North Carolina Beat (@TheNCBeat) March 6, 2023