Four Americans who were kidnapped in Mexico last week have been located, and two of them are dead, authorities say.
The victims– who are all reported to be natives of South Carolina– have been identified by family members as LaTavia Washington McGee, McGee’s cousin Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams.
McGee crossed the Mexican border at Matamoros with her travel companions, but she stopped responding to calls when she was minutes away from a doctor’s office where she was planning to get a tummy tuck.
Last Friday, the day of the appointment, her mother Barbara Burgess said she stopped hearing from her daughter. “Her phone just started going to voicemail,” Burgess told ABC News.
The kidnapping is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.
Matamoros is home to warring drug cartels, and the victims, all of whom are Black, may have been believed to be Haitian drug smugglers on the cartels’ turf, CNN reports.
Recent video showed the victims being loaded into the back of a white pickup truck after being shot at.
Friday, the day the Carolina natives were kidnapped, U.S. State Department had issued a travel advisory, noting “criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, it has not yet been reported which of the travelers died or how they were found.