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24-Year-Old Suspect Arrested In Connection To The Kidnapping Of 4 Americans That Left 2 Dead

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Mar. 8 2023, Published 1:45 p.m. ET

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A 24-year-old man was arrested as a suspect in connection to the kidnapping of four Americans that left two dead, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Last week, Latavia “Tay” McGee, 35, Eric James Williams, 38, Shaeed Woodard, 33, and Zindell Brown traveled from South Carolina to Mexico and were kidnapped at gunpoint on Friday.

On Wednesday, hours after two of the four Americans were rescued, Jose Guadalupe N., 24, was taken into custody.

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Authorities located the U.S. citizens at a wooden house on the rural outskirts of Matamoros in Ejido Tecolote. The suspect was discovered at the home with the kidnapped foursome and was allegedly tasked with supervising the group.

McGee and Williams were found alive. Williams suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left leg and was taken along with McGee to a nearby hospital in Brownsville, Texas, for medical treatment.

Woodard and Brown, who were in their mid-20s, were tragically killed before the group's rescue.

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Authorities claimed that the group was likely mistaken for Haitian drug smugglers by local cartel members; however, it has not been confirmed whether or not Guadalupe is a member of the Gulf Cartel, which operates in the region.

The group was said to have traveled to the region so that McGee could undergo a tummy tuck procedure, which was significantly less expensive than health care costs in the United States.

It was believed that upon crossing the Texas/Mexico border, the group became lost.

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Friends of the foursome revealed that the group attempted to contact the doctor's office for directions, but the call was never answered. As they continued to try and find their bearings, the group allegedly drove into a violent shoot-out between rival gangs.

The traumatic ordeal was captured on security footage and showed the group being held at gunpoint as they were forced into the back of a white pickup truck.

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Authorities revealed that after the group was initially taken, the Americans were transferred to several different locations, which made their rescue efforts more difficult.

Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal stated that at one point during the location transfers, the group was taken to a medical clinic "to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them."

An investigation into the motive is still ongoing. Guadalupe was the only suspect taken into custody at the time.

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