While Mexico’s government claims the case of four U.S. citizens kidnapped in Matamoros was due to mistaken identity, questions have surfaced in the aftermath. New information indicates that some in the victim group had criminal backgrounds regarding drug charges — complicating the original story about a trip to Mexico for cosmetic procedures.
On Friday, Latavia McGee, Shaeed Woodward, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams crossed into Matamoros from Brownsville for cosmetic procedures, according to initial reporting. Even though the group hailed from South Carolina, they traveled in a vehicle with North Carolina plates.
A report filed with Brownsville Police on Saturday, one day after the kidnapping, revealed that officers responded to a Motel 6 in Brownsville where a woman named Cheryl claimed her four friends had crossed into Mexico and did not return. The woman told police that they had arrived on Thursday at 3 am and the group had crossed on Friday morning for cosmetic surgery for Latavia McGee. Cheryl said she did not cross with them because she did not have an ID. The woman claimed to not know which port of entry the group used or to which medical center they were destined.
Sometime after the group crossed into Mexico, gunmen from the Gulf Cartel chased, shot at, and kidnapped them without police interference. On Tuesday, Mexican authorities found them east of Matamoros in a stash house. McGee and Williams were alive, while Brown and Woodward had died. As Breitbart Texas reported, on Thursday morning, the Gulf Cartel asked for forgiveness and surrendered five of their gunmen in an apparent effort to appease the political pressure over the fatal kidnapping.
The version of events presented by Mexican authorities suggested mistaken identity as the gunmen may have confused the group for Haitian migrants or rivals. After the attack, the gunmen took the victims to a medical clinic under their control for treatment. Medical personnel tried to tend to the victims before moving them to a stash house.
One of the main inconsistencies with the Mexican government’s version of events came Tuesday when the wife of Williams told News13 that “she didn’t know where he was going, just that he was going to help two friends.” The woman claimed that after texting with him on Friday, she did not hear about him until Sunday when the FBI made contact. She claimed the group was not doing anything illegal despite members of the group having criminal records.
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