LAKE CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Lake City native who survived a kidnapping blamed on drug cartels in Mexico earlier this month has had five surgeries since being rescued and returned to Brownsville, Texas, his wife told News13 on Wednesday.
Michelle Williams said she is still uncertain about when her husband, Eric Williams, will be able to return home. Last week, she said she was thankful that her husband, who reportedly was shot in the leg, survived but that she was heartbroken for the families of the two who died.
Eric Williams and three other Lake City natives —Zindell Brown, Latavia “Tay” McGee and Shaeed Woodard — were kidnapped after crossing into an area in Mexico said to be dominated by factions of the powerful Gulf drug cartel. The group went so that McGee could have cosmetic surgery.
Williams and McGee survived the kidnapping, but Brown and Woodard were found dead. McGree has since returned to the Myrtle Beach area.
According to the Associated Press, the kidnappers fired on the group in downtown Matamoras after they crossed into Mexico from Texas and then loaded into a pickup truck.
Tamaulipas Gov. Américo Villarreal said the four were found in a wooden shack, where they were being guarded by a man who was arrested. Villarreal said the captive Americans had been moved around by their captors, and at one point were taken to a medical clinic “to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them.”
The bodies of Brown and Woodard are expected to be turned over to U.S. authorities after forensic work at the Matamoros morgue, the governor said.
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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.