The identities of three of the four US citizens kidnapped at gunpoint in Mexico after being ambushed when they crossed the border have been made public.
Christina Hickson says her son, 28-year-old Zindell Brown, is one of the group of four Americans who drove across the US border with Mexico on Friday, crossing into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, in a white minivan, reported WPDE.
The South Carolina news channel also reported that two of the others kidnapped are Shaeed Woodard and Tay McGee, both from Lake City, South Carolina.
The fourth member of the group is a woman who grew up in Lake City but now lives in Myrtle Beach, the channel reported.
Ms Hickson told WPDE that her son went on the trip to support a friend having a medical procedure in Mexico, and says she recognised him from footage of the shocking incident.
“I knew immediately that was him. And you know even when I watch them placing them on the back of the truck. I was able to follow each one as they would be placed on the truck,” Ms Hickson said.
“The waiting is the worse part. It has its advantages and disadvantages. But, however, no news is good news. That’s the way I’m staying with it. No news is good news and that’s what will give me the audacity to.”
US officials have not yet formally identified the four people kidnapped.
The US State Department is advising Americans not to travel to Tamaulipas due to the risk of crime and kidnapping. The region is on the “Level 4: Do Not Travel” list.
The border city of Matamoros is largely controlled by the Gulf drug cartel, with violence and migrant smuggling rife.
Oliver Rich, Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division of the FBI, said in the press release that the FBI is seeking the public’s help in identifying the assailants responsible for the assault and kidnapping.
A reward of $50,000 is being offered for information leading to the return of the victims and the arrest of the kidnappers.
An investigation – involving the FBI, federal partners and Mexican law enforcement agencies – is currently underway.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741 or to submit tips anonymously online at https://tips.fbi.gov