- A friend of the four kidnapped Americans in Mexico traveled all the way to Texas with the group.
- But the woman stayed behind at a hotel in Texas because she didn’t have her ID, the AP reported.
- Four American friends were abducted last week by armed men after crossing the border in Mexico.
A friend of the four Americans shot at and kidnapped by gunmen in Northern Mexico in a deadly encounter traveled all the way to Texas with the group but didn’t cross the border into Mexico with them because she did not have her identification.
Cheryl Orange traveled with pals Eric Williams, Zindell Brown, Latavia McGee, and Shaeed Woodard in a rented white minivan from South Carolina to the southern edge of Texas last week, The Associated Press reported, citing a police report based on statements from Orange.
Orange never crossed into Matamoros, Mexico, a town near the Rio Grande and the southern US border with Brownsville, Texas, with her friends on Friday morning because she left behind her ID, she told authorities, the AP reported.
That allowed Orange to ultimately avoid the terrifying abduction that left Woodard and Brown dead.
Orange hung back at a motel in Brownsville, Texas, and told the AP in a text message that three of her pals were supposed to return within 15 minutes after they dropped off McGee for cosmetic surgery in Matamoros.
Family members have told news outlets that McGee planned to get a tummy-tuck procedure in Matamoros.
“She simply went for a cosmetic surgery, and that’s it. That’s all, and this happened to them,” Orange told the AP.
Orange’s four friends were ambushed after driving the minivan into Matamoros, the FBI has said.
“Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen fired upon the passengers in the vehicle,” the FBI said, adding that the four Americans were then “placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men.”
Orange said she grew alarmed after hours passed and she did not hear from her pals, so she eventually alerted the police, according to the AP.
Woodard and Brown were later found dead, while Williams and McGee were found alive on Tuesday.
Zalandria Brown, Zindell Brown’s sister, previously told the AP that her brother was worried about crossing the border.
“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,'” the sister told the news outlet in a phone interview.
Meanwhile, Williams’ wife, Michelle Williams, told WBTW that she had no clue her husband was headed to Mexico.