Four Americans were kidnapped — perhaps in error — in Mexico. And officials are offering a reward for help finding them and arresting the abductors.
According to CNN, on March 3, “Four US citizens were assaulted and kidnapped after crossing the border into northeastern Mexico on Friday, according to the FBI, which is working to locate the missing Americans.”
Recent updates from CNN suggest the four victims were mistakenly targeted by their abductors.
A statement released by the FBI says the crime took place in Matamoros, Mexico. The Americans were driving a white minivan with North Carolina license plates, when soon after crossing the border “... unidentified gunmen fired upon the passengers in the vehicle. All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men.”
Photos provided to CNN show a vehicle assumed to have been driven by the U.S. citizens had been in a crash with another car before the victims were taken.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told CNN, “The information we have is that they crossed the border to buy medicines in Mexico, there was a confrontation between groups and they were detained.”
He said the Mexican government is investigating.
The FBI continues working with Mexican law enforcement and federal partners to investigate this case.
USA Today said, “The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros issued an alert on Friday about a shooting in the city. The message cited media reports that one person had been killed, but the consulate did not independently confirm the death.”
The alert reminds U.S. citizens that “Tamaulipas is classified as Level 4: Do Not Travel in the State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico.” It lists actions to take for those in close proximity to the city, including staying updated with recent news and seeking shelter if needed.
Why the $50,000 reward?
Oliver Rich, Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division of Federal Bureau of Investigation, told the public the FBI is seeking help finding the people responsible for the abduction. He announced a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and arrest of the abductors.
Anyone with information can call the FBI San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741 or submit tips online at https://tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous.