Search underway for kidnapped American in Mexican border town

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican and U.S. authorities said on Monday they were looking for four Americans who were shot by gunmen in northern Mexico and kidnapped shortly after they crossed the border.

The four Americans were in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates when they entered Matamoros, Tamaulipas on Friday.

The embassy said he opened fire shortly after the vehicle crossed over to Mexico and fled in another vehicle.

US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said in a statement that an innocent Mexican was killed in the incident.

A Mexican official told Reuters that three men and a woman had been kidnapped, although authorities did not identify them.

ABC News reported that the four were LaTavia “Tay” Magee, Shade Woodard, Zindel Brown and Eric James Williams. ABC spoke to her McGee’s mother, who said McGee had traveled with a group from South Carolina to Mexico to get plastic surgery.

Citing law enforcement sources, NBC News reported that the group was traveling for cosmetic surgery.

Earlier in the day, the Mexican president said Americans had crossed to Mexico to buy drugs.

“I believe it will be resolved. I added that there is.

The U.S. Department of State advises Americans not to travel to Tamaulipas, in part because of the threat of kidnapping. The city of Matamoros is just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.

White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said during a regular press briefing in Washington that U.S. law enforcement agencies are in contact with Mexican authorities, as are the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

“Our thoughts are with the families of these individuals and stand ready to provide appropriate consular assistance,” she said. “We will continue to work with Mexico and pressure them to bring those responsible to justice,” she said.

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the four and the arrest of those involved.

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