Two Americans who survived a violent kidnapping in Mexico have returned to the United States and have been transported to a hospital in Texas.
“The two survivors have since been repatriated back to the United States,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a news conference Tuesday. “That occurred with the assistance of our Mexican partners, with the assistance of our officials in Mexico. We are in the process of working to repatriate the remains of the two Americans who were killed in this incident.”
The two surviving Americans were transported in Brownsville, Texas, ambulances with a law enforcement escort over the Veterans International Bridge and were seen leaving the bridge on the U.S. side of the border. From there, the two were taken to Valley Regional Medical center in Brownsville to receive treatment, according to NBC News.
The news comes after it was revealed earlier Tuesday that two of the four Americans who were victims of the kidnappings died in the incident, Tamaulipas Gov. Americo Villarreal said, according to The Associated Press.
The four Americans were crossing from Brownsville, Texas, into the Mexican city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Friday when their vehicle began receiving gunfire shortly after entering Mexico. Video from the scene showed armed men believed to be members of a Mexican drug cartel then loading the victims into the back of a white truck, with two of the victims appearing to be injured or dead as the men dragged their bodies across the pavement.
Another one of the victims was reportedly injured in the attack, while the fourth American was not injured in the incident. An innocent Mexican bystander was also killed in the incident, according to U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar.
One of the four kidnapping victims was identified as Zindell Brown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by his older sister, Zalandria Brown. Brown told the Associated Press her brother and two other friends were accompanying a fourth friend to Mexico for a tummy tuck surgery.
The other three members were reportedly identified by family members as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shadeed Woodard and Eric James Williams, also of South Carolina.
Price said that the State Department was giving “all appropriate assistance to them and their families.”
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” Price said, adding that Mexican and U.S. law enforcement worked “to find these innocent victims” and that a task force will “ensure that justice is done next.”