Wife of American man kidnapped in Mexico says she didn't know he was crossing the border. He just said he needed to help out a couple of friends.

A member of the Mexican security forces stands next to a white minivan with North Carolina plates and several bullet holes, at the crime scene where gunmen kidnapped four U.S. citizens who crossed into Mexico from Texas, Friday, March 3, 2023.
The crime scene where gunmen kidnapped four US citizens who crossed into Mexico from Texas on Friday.AP
  • The wife of one of the Americans kidnapped in Mexico said she didn't know he was headed there.

  • "I just knew he was going somewhere to help two friends," she told WBTW in a story posted Tuesday.

  • Four American friends were abducted last week by armed men after crossing the border.

The wife of one of the four Americans shot at and kidnapped by gunmen in Northern Mexico in a deadly encounter after the group crossed the border said she had no clue that her husband was headed into the country.

Michelle Williams, the wife of Eric Williams, told WBTW in an interview published Tuesday that she knew only that her husband was helping out two friends.

"I didn't know that he was traveling to Mexico. I just knew he was going somewhere to help two friends," the wife told the news outlet.

Eric Williams, along with his friends Zindell Brown, Latavia McGee, and Shaeed Woodard, traveled from South Carolina to Mexico last week so that one of the friends could get a tummy-tuck procedure, family members have said.

The group was abducted Friday after driving a white minivan into Matamoros, Mexico, near the Rio Grande and the southern US border with Brownsville, Texas, the FBI has said.

"Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen fired upon the passengers in the vehicle," the FBI said, adding that the four friends were then "placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men."

Two of the Americans — identified by CNN as Woodard and Brown — were later found dead, while Eric Williams and McGee were found alive Tuesday.

"I didn't hear from him after Friday," Michelle Williams told WBTW. "Friday morning, he texted me, and I texted him back immediately. He didn't respond. He didn't respond to our son either, so I'm going to assume that's when they were ambushed."

Meanwhile, Zalandria Brown, Zindell Brown's sister, told The Associated Press that her brother was worried about crossing the border.

"Zindell kept saying, 'We shouldn't go down,'" the sister told the news outlet in a phone interview.

"This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from," she told the AP. "To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable."

A US official told CNN that investigators believed a drug cartel mistook the Americans for smugglers.

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