One of the two Americans who escaped a horrific kidnapping last month in Mexico claims she viewed the video of the drug cartel firefight on one of the kidnappers’ phones, which claimed the lives of two of her close friends.
On March 3, Latavia McGee and three companions’ journey to get cosmetic surgery took a tragic turn when they entered a border hamlet controlled by the strong Gulf drug gang.
There, they were fired upon and put into a pickup truck. Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown perished, although McGee and Eric Williams did not. In Lake City, South Carolina, a town with less than 6,000 residents, they all went to school together.
Williams and McGee discussed the encounter during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
In the home where the masked, gun-toting cartel members had abducted them, McGee said, someone’s phone could be heard playing the all-too-familiar sounds of gunfire and chaos from the abduction.
She requested access to the footage after learning that it showed her kidnapping.
In response to the footage, McGee stated, “I just started crying.” I thought, “I’m never going back home.”
Although learning that the tape was being distributed helped McGee feel “a little better,” she was still unsure whether their relatives knew what had happened.
The incidents shook families in the Carolinas, and many claimed to have endured days of agony while waiting to learn whether their loved ones had survived.
About their time spent as captives in a secluded Gulf Coast area, McGee and Williams gave CNN gory details.
The two pals claimed at one instance that the cartel tried to force them into having intercourse.
Williams, who is in a wheelchair and has a brace on his left leg, told CNN that after questioning them under threat of violence, the cartel took them to a clinic.
Williams, who was shot in the left leg, claimed that someone used a two-by-four to patch up his wound.
McGee’s misery lasted as cartel men drove them about in trucks loaded with police scanners while wearing blindfolds.
“They understood what was happening. According to McGee, they were always one step ahead. I thought, “They’re never going to find us this way.”
McGee claimed that their circumstances had changed when they awoke one night from the pitch-black room in a remote area of the Gulf Coast.
Upon entering, a man with a phone light claimed that he was battling with his employer to liberate them because “somebody made the wrong call,” according to McGee.
The two survivors claimed that early on March 6, the cartel left the four Americans at a log shack, where authorities eventually discovered them.
Williams contended that Woodard and Brown’s and his own body were covering him while he lay on the floor of a pickup truck.