Information continues to hit the press about the four Americans taken in Mexico over the weekend. With two of the four people returning safely and the other two losing their lives in the ordeal, questions have begun to surface about why they were in Mexico in the first place and why they were targeted. A new account has come out from one of the men involved, who reportedly thought the whole trip was a “bad idea.”
The four people involved in the incident have been identified as North Carolina residents Latavia “Tay” McGee, Eric James Williams, Zindell Brown, and Shaeed Woodard. The group had traveled from their home state to the Mexican city of Matamoros so that McGee could get a tummy tuck procedure. Upon crossing the border into Mexico from Brownsville, TX, in their white minivan, the group was unfortunately welcomed by group of Mexican men. The men can be seen the dragging the four people into the back of a pick-up truck and driving off with them. U.S. government initially set a reward of $50k for information on their whereabouts, but when the four were found, only two had survived.
Eric James Williams is one of the survivors. His wife, Michele Williams, spoke with CNN about her first call with her husband. Michele says that Eric James had been transported to a hospital in Texas to be treated for his injuries, which included three wounds. According to Williams, Eric was struck in both legs – twice in one leg and once in the other. Despite his injuries, Eric James is expected to be able to walk again but is obviously scarred for life from this ordeal. James
U.S. and Mexican officials are cooperating on the incident, and already reportedly have one person in custody. Their President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, made it very clear that this is a “Mexican issue,” telling the press, “We do not get involved in seeing what the gangs in the United States that distribute fentanyl are doing or how the substance is distributed in the United States, this is our business.” He concluded, “and furthermore, President Biden has offered me that they are going to be respectful of our sovereignty, and that is appreciated.”
A fifth friend, Cheryl Orange, was the one who called the police to alert them of the group’s disappearance after she had not heard from them. Orange was denied access into Mexico due to not having her ID and stayed behind in Brownsville. Investigators believe that the incident was not random, but moreso a case of mistaken identity. Investigators believe the four Americans were targeted after being mistaken for a group of Haitian smugglers.
One of the deceased, Zindell Brown, reportedly called his sister prior to their trip and told her he had a bad feeling about it all. Zalandria Brown says that Zindell told her, “we shouldn’t go down.” Zalandria says the whole thing feels like a bad dream, made worst by the video footage of Zindell being dragged into the truck in his final moments. Of all those impacted by the incident, McGee is actually the only one to come back unharmed. Neither she or Eric James have released a statement yet.
Both individuals are currently seeking treatment. Latavia “Tay” McGee’s mother spoke to the press yesterday and confirmed she has spoken to her daughter. We’ll keep you posted as more details are released.