Two Americans kidnapped in Mexico are dead and two are alive, local governor says

March 7, 2023, 5:45 PM +06 / Updated March 7, 2023, 10:50 PM +06 By Chantal Da Silva, Gabe Gutierrez and Marlene Lenthang Two of the four Americans who were shot at by gunmen and kidnapped shortly after crossing the border into northern Mexico for a medical procedure last week are dead, according to the governor of Tamaulipas state. Gov. Américo Villarreal made the announcement over the phone at a presidential news conference Tuesday morning, noting that the other Americans are alive. One of the surviving victims, however, is wounded, he said. The person’s condition was not disclosed. The governor said details were confirmed by prosecutors earlier Tuesday morning. He said that ambulances and security personnel were going to give support to the victims. It’s not clear where they were found. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said further details would be released later. “We are very sorry that this happened in our country and we send our condolences to the families of the victims, friends, and the United States government, and we will continue doing our work to guarantee peace and tranquility,” he said. Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica tweeted Tuesday that the four U.S. citizens were found by “joint search actions.” He said that work is underway to capture those behind the kidnapping. The FBI had been offering a $50,000 reward for the safe return of the U.S. citizens. The group was kidnapped Friday after driving into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, just south of Brownsville, Texas. Dramatic video showing a gunman dragging people into a white pickup truck captured the kidnapping as it unfolded, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the matter confirmed. Authorities have yet to identify the four people. But one of the victims was identified as LaTavia Washington McGee by her cousin, Aliyah McCleod, who is acting as a family spokesperson. McCleod also identified another member of the group as Shaeed Woodard. McCleod said the group is from South Carolina, and had been traveling in a rental vehicle with North Carolina license plates when they entered Matamoros. The FBI confirmed that the group was traveling in a white minivan with North Carolina plates. McCleod said the group had traveled to Mexico for a “medical procedure.” She said her family was pleading for their safe return. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter said a woman in the group had been seeking a cosmetic medical procedure. The official said cartel gunmen had targeted the group in a case of mistaken identity.