MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The bodies of two Lake City natives — one of them a Myrtle Beach resident — who were kidnapped and killed last week in Mexico, will be turned over to U.S. authorities after forensic work is completed at the Matamoros morgue, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, citing the region’s governor.

The report said Shaeed Woodard, 33, and Zindell Brown, in his mid-20s, were killed when the group they were traveling with got caught in a drug-cartel shootout, the report said. Brown lived in Myrtle Beach, his sister, Zalandria Brown, who lives in Florence, told the AP on Tuesday.

Two other Lake City natives — Eric Williams and Latavia “Tay” McGee — survived the kidnapping, but Williams’ brother told the AP that he was shot in the left leg.

“It’s quite a relief,” Robert Williams said Tuesday in a phone interview. “I look forward to seeing him again and actually being able to talk to him.”

Eric Williams’ wife, Michelle Williams, told News13 in a phone interview on Tuesday that said she didn’t know where he was going, just that he was going to help two friends. She said the FBI showed up at her door on Sunday to inform her of what happened.

“I didn’t hear from him after Friday,” she said. “Friday morning he texted me and I texted him back immediately. He didn’t respond so I’m going to assume that’s when he was ambushed.”

Robert Williams said he and his brother Eric now live in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina. He described his brother as “easygoing” and “fun-spirited.”

He didn’t know his brother was traveling to Mexico until after the abduction hit the news. But from looking at his brother’s Facebook posts, he thinks his brother did not consider the trip dangerous.

“He thought it would be fun,” Williams said.

When told that his brother was among the survivors Tuesday, Williams said that when they meet, “I’ll just tell him how happy I am to see him, and how glad I am that he made it through, and that I love him.”

Lake City officials confirmed at a news conference on Tuesday that all four were Lake City natives. Mayor Yamekia Robinson issued a statement offering condolences to all of the families involved but directed all questions to the U.S. Department of State.

Reports have said the group got caught up in the shootout as they traveled to Mexico for one person in the group to have cosmetic surgery. The survivors were held captive for days in a remote region of the Gulf coast before they were rescued from a wood shack, officials said Tuesday.

Williams and McGee were returned to U.S. soil on Tuesday in Brownsville, the southernmost tip of Texas and just across the border from Matamoros.

Video and photographs taken during and immediately after Friday’s abduction show the Americans’ white minivan sitting beside another vehicle, with at least one bullet hole in the driver’s side window. A witness said the two vehicles had collided. Almost immediately, several men with tactical vests and assault rifles arrived in another vehicle to surround the scene.

The Mexican authorities’ hypothesis is “that it was confusion, not a direct attack,” the state prosecutor said.

The gunmen walked one of the Americans into the bed of a white pickup, then dragged and loaded up the three others. Terrified civilian motorists sat silently in their cars, hoping not to draw attention. Two of the victims appeared to be motionless.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the people responsible would be punished. He referenced arrests in the 2019 killings of nine U.S.-Mexican dual citizens in Sonora near the U.S. border.

“We really regret that this happens in our country,” he said, adding that the U.S. government has every right to be upset by the violence.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland put blame for the deaths squarely on the drug cartels

“The DEA and the FBI are doing everything possible to dismantle and disrupt and ultimately prosecute the leaders of the cartels and the entire networks that they depend on” Garland said.

The FBI had offered a $50,000 reward for the victims’ return and the arrest of the abductors.

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Information from the Associated Press was included in this story.

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.