According to a Mexican state governor, two of the four Americans kidnapped at gunpoint in Mexico last week are dead and two are still alive.
On March 3, four US citizens were kidnapped by armed men as they drove into Matamoros, Mexico, in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, just across the border from Texas.
According to relatives in the United States, they traveled there for cosmetic surgery.
The deaths have yet to be confirmed by US officials.
The attorney general’s office in Mexico confirmed that of the four Americans, “two are dead, one is injured, and the other is alive,” Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal said during a news conference.
Both the Mexican and US governments have launched investigations into the kidnapping and are looking for the four Americans. Last Friday, a Mexican woman was killed in the incident.
According to CBS News, the Americans are Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric James Williams, and Zindell Brown.
The four were driving through Matamoros, a 500,000-person city directly across the border from Brownsville, Texas, in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates when unidentified gunmen opened fire, according to the FBI.
They are seen on video being loaded into a pickup truck by heavily armed men. Others appear to be unconscious and are dragged to the truck as one is manhandled onto the vehicle.
The incident was described as a “confrontation between armed groups” by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
According to relatives, one of the victims was on his way to the Mexican border town for a tummy tuck, a cosmetic surgery procedure to remove abdominal fat.
According to an unnamed US official cited by CNN, investigators believe the Americans were mistaken for Haitian drug smugglers by a Mexican drug cartel.