One of the survivors of the Mexico cartel kidnapping is mourning the loss of his two murdered friends — who he viewed as his “brothers,” his wife said Tuesday.
Michelle Williams told CNN she was able to speak to her husband, Eric James Williams, shortly after police rescued him and fellow American Latavia “Tay” McGee from the wooden shack they had been held in since last week.
Friends Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brow, who had crossed the border with Williams and McGee, were found dead.
Williams — who suffered three gunshot wounds to his legs — was emotional when speaking with his wife and 11-year-old son later Tuesday.
“I was just glad to hear his voice,” Michelle Williams told CNN.
The four friends from South Carolina were captured shortly after arriving Friday in the crime-ridden city of Matamoros so McGee would undergo a tummy tuck operation.
Michelle had no idea where her husband had gone — just that he was helping out some pals — until FBI agents showed up at her door Sunday, she told South Carolina TV station WBTW.
“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.”
Agents told her the foursome came under fire after entering Matamoros, which caused them to crash their white minivan.
The on-camera abduction shows the kidnappers — likely Gulf Cartel members — holding the friends at gunpoint to force them into the back of a pickup truck.
The captives were moved throughout the city multiple times in order to evade authorities before they were tracked down to a storage shed Tuesday.
One person has been arrested in the kidnapping so far — Jose Guadalupe N., a 24-year-old Mexican national who was guarding the shack when police arrived.
Police are still working to uncover a motive for the kidnapping, but theorize the friends were confused with Haitian drug smugglers.
The FBI had offered a $50,000 reward for the victims’ return and the arrest of the abductors.