The Dallas Morning News
After tip, the search was on
Documents reveal scene at shack where Americans were found
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico — The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men, people wearing blindfolds and plenty of activity around a ranch.
Authorities headed for the rural area east of Matamoros on Tuesday morning, leaving the highway and driving remote dirt roads looking for the described location, according to Mexican investigative documents viewed Friday by The Associated Press.
Finally, they saw the wooden shack far from any homes or businesses, surrounded by brush, and a white pickup parked outside that matched the one the Americans had been loaded into last Friday. Then they began to hear someone shouting, “Help!”
Inside the shack, the documents said, Latavia “Tay” Mcgee and Eric Williams were blindfolded. Beside them were the bodies of Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, wrapped in blankets and plastic bags.
A guard who tried to escape out a back door was quickly apprehended, the documents said. He was wearing a tactical vest, but there is no mention of him being armed.
The four Americans had crossed into Matamoros from Texas so that Mcgee could have cosmetic surgery. About midday, they were fired on in downtown Matamoros and then loaded into the pickup truck. Another friend, who remained in Brownsville, called police after being unable to reach the group that crossed the border. A Mexican woman, Areli Pablo Servando, 33, was also killed, apparently by a stray bullet.
In the letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement official Thursday, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros where the Americans were kidnapped, Servando and the four Americans and their families. The gang turned over five men.