Mexican authorities have returned the bodies of two Americans who were killed in the city of Matamoros last Friday after being kidnapped by Gulf Cartel assassins.
Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown traveled to the border town with two other Americans, Eric Williams and LaTavia Washington McGee, purportedly to accompany the latter for a ‘tummy tuck’ procedure.
But they were captured by cartel henchmen shortly after crossing the border.
Williams was shot in the leg, but he and McGee escaped with their lives and are now recovering across the border in a Texas hospital.
The bodies of Woodard and Brown were repatriated yesterday evening in a heavily guarded convoy from the municipal morgue in Matamoros.
A third victim, Mexican national Arely Servando, was also killed.
Meanwhile, the five Gulf Cartel assassins supposedly responsible for the kidnap-murder were tied up and dumped in the street by narco bosses, who left a note apologizing for the crimes.
Forensic technicians load the bodies of Americans kidnapped and killed by gunmen in a vehicle to be transported to the U.S. border for repatriation, in Matamoros, Mexico, March 9, 2023
The morgue was closely guard by a team of heavily armed security forces
Soldiers stand guard outside the Forensic Medical Service morgue building ahead of the transfer of the bodies of two of four Americans kidnapped by gunmen to the U.S. border, in Matamoros, Mexico, March 9, 2023
LaTavia McGee and Eric Williams were rescued by security forces Tuesday morning
Members (pictured) of the Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions Group were abandoned on a Matamoros street and accused by the criminal organization of being behind last Friday’s kidnapping of four Americans, including two who were killed. A Mexican woman was also shot dead during the incident
The suspects are pictured tied up by the cartel bosses with their tops pulled over their heads before they were arrested
Arely Servando, 33, was also gunned down by cartel members
Gulf Cartel bosses claimed the assassins – who were part of the notorious Scorpions splinter group – operated outside of ‘cartel rules’ and ‘condemn’ the attack, adding ‘the CDG has always respected the life and integrity of the innocent’.
‘The Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions Group strongly condemns the events of last Friday, March 3 where unfortunately an ‘innocent’ working mother died and 4 American citizens were ‘kidnapped’ of which 2 died,’ the apology note read in Spanish.
But questions are being raised as to why the Americans were in the cartel-run city in the first place after DailyMail.com revealed their previous links to drugs.
The Mexico government announced on Thursday it was probing whether the kidnapping ‘could be directly linked to drug trafficking’.
The cartel’s note reads: ‘The Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions Group strongly condemns the events of last Friday, March 3 where unfortunately an ‘innocent’ working mother died and 4 American citizens were ‘kidnapped’ of which 2 died’
The survivors’ families have claimed they were there so one of the group could get a cheap tummy tuck surgery.
The Gulf Cartel, which has been around since the 1930s, claimed the suspects acted on their own.
‘And for this reason, we have decided to hand over those involved and directly responsible for the facts who at all times acted under their own determination and indiscipline and against the rules that ‘The CDG’ has always operated, respecting the life and integrity of the innocent,’ the cartel said.
‘The CDG apologizes to Matamoran society, the relatives of Mrs. Arely, the American individuals and families affected.
‘The CDG asks society to be calm because we are committed to not repeating those errors caused by indiscipline and whoever is responsible will pay!!’
A spokesman for the Tamaulipas State Attorney General’s Office told DailyMail.com the five alleged participants are yet to be brought up on charges.
The Gulf Cartel said they the five individuals ‘acted under their own determination and indiscipline and against the rules that ‘The CDG’ has always operated, respecting the life and integrity of the innocent’
Forensic technicians were seen working at the scene where authorities found the bodies of two of four Americans kidnapped by gunmen
This image taken by a bystander shows the scene following the cartel killing as LaTavia McGee and Eric Williams are rescued
Friend stopped from crossing into Mexico with The Tummy Tuck Four raised alarm with US cop
A fifth passenger who was denied entry to Mexico where her four friends were later kidnapped by crime and drug syndicate Gulf Cartel said that she thought they’d been arrested because they were known to ‘party and use narcotics.’
Cheryl Orange said that she’d traveled to the southern border with LaTavia ‘Tay’ McGee, Eric Williams, Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard for her friend’s cosmetic tummy tuck.
Orange’s trip came to a sudden halt when she was denied entry because she lacked the proper identification. In a text exchange with Associated Press, Orange said that her friends were supposed to return after dropping McGee to her ‘tummy tuck’ and – when they didn’t return she grew concerned and alerted police.
The prosecutor’s office said law enforcement investigators assigned to the kidnapping located and confiscated an ambulance the cartel used to drive the American victims to a local clinic for treatment following the attack.
South Carolina residents McGee, her cousin Woodward and her friends Brown and Williams crossed into Matamoros around 9am last Friday and came under attack at about two hours later.
Gulf Cartel henchmen were seen on video forcing McGee into the flatbed of a pickup truck and dumping the bodies of Woodward, Brown and Williams in the vehicle.
The three men were allegedly accompanying McGee on the road trip from South Carolina across the border for McGee’s surgery.
Mexican law enforcement agents are investigating the possibility that members of the cartel kidnapped the Americans thinking that they were encroaching on their turf, according to an internal government document seen by Reuters.
DailyMail.com revealed lengthy rap sheets for the four kidnapped U.S. citizens with authorities stating, ‘drug trafficking’ cannot be ‘ruled out.’
McGee, a mother-of-five, and Williams, who was shot in the leg, were rescued from a cartel stash house six and a half miles away in the rural town of El Tecolote on Tuesday morning. Brown and Woodward were found dead in the house.
Mexican national and Matamoros resident Arely Servando, 33, was struck by a stray bullet and killed on the scene.
Arely Servando was trapped in the middle of a Gulf Cartel attack on a vehicle with four Americans and was struck by a stray bullet and died in the Mexican border city of Matamoros last Friday
Pictured: LaTavia ‘Tay’ McGee
McGee was seen wiping her eyes with a tissue as Williams – who was shot in the left leg, but also survived the ordeal – was treated in the back of the emergency vehicle
Officials, who say they are pursuing various lines of inquiry, drew up a brief document summarizing the abduction of the Americans and biographical information on them.
The metadata of the digital document suggested it was created on Wednesday. It included their names, birthdays and addresses, and details of criminal records.
Among them were convictions for drug-related offenses against Brown and Woodard.
In view of the prior convictions, ‘it cannot be ruled out that the attack against (the Americans) could be directly linked to drug trafficking operations,’ which their assailants believed the Americans could be carrying out, the document said.