The four US citizens shot at and abducted in Mexico have been identified by family members as a group of friends from South Carolina.
Family members have revealed that the four US citizens who were fired at and kidnapped in Mexico are a group of South Carolina friends.
According to family members who spoke to ABC News and the Associated Press on Monday, March 6, Latavia “Tay” McGee, her cousin Shaeed Woodard, two friends Zindell Brown and Eric James Williams, and two other people were travelling to Mexico for a cosmetic medical procedure when they were kidnapped on Friday, March 3.
Zindell Brown’s sister, Zalandria Brown, said on Monday: “This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from. To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable.”
She said her brother had two friends who had accompanied Latavia McGee to get tummy tuck surgery.
Latavia McGee’s mother, Barbara Burgess, 54, told ABC News she was concerned about her daughter’s trip to get cosmetic work done and warned her not to go.
However, she said her daughter told her, “Ma, I’ll be okay,” before leaving on the journey Wednesday, she recalled.
McGee, 35, was scheduled to have the surgery on Friday.
She called her mother to say she was 15 minutes away from the doctor’s office, Burgess said.
That was the last time she heard from her daughter.
“Her phone just started going to voicemail,” Burgess told the news station.
The group had crossed over the southern border from Texas into the notoriously dangerous city of Matamoros in Tamaulipas when their white minivan came under fire
As their white minivan came under fire and they were seized by gunmen, the gang had just crossed the southern border from Texas into the infamously hazardous city of Matamoros in Tamaulipas.
In a startling YouTube video of the alleged kidnapping, men wearing bulletproof vests shove a woman into the flatbed of a white pickup truck before hauling and dumping a guy inside.
Then they dragged two more men across the ground into the same flatbed.
The woman sat up in the back, while two of the men appeared to be unresponsive, according to the footage and a witness.
“The other two they dragged across the pavement, we don’t know if they were alive or dead,” said the witness.
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and arrests of the gunmen.
Earlier Monday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said the four Americans came to Mexico to purchase medicine.
He also confirmed that one Mexican citizen was killed in the broad-daylight shooting.
Matamoros, the city where the Americans were kidnapped, has been plagued by fighting among factions of the Gulf drug cartel for several years
The State Department warns US citizens against traveling to Tamaulipas, but many Americans who live near the border often cross it to visit family and attend appointments in the area.
Watch the video below