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Julie Watson/Associated Press

  • It was supposed to be a fun road trip to Mexico for a group of childhood friends. But once they got there, the trip took a terrible turn, and two members of the group would never make it home. Shortly after Latavia McGee and her friends crossed the border and drove into Matamoros, their van was crashed into and they came under gunfire by Gulf cartel members. McGee and Eric Williams, who were loaded into a pickup truck by their captors, would be held for three days next to the bodies of their two slain friends.
  • The frantic effort to rescue four Americans taken captive by a cartel in Mexico during a kidnapping that left two dead came after a fifth person who traveled with the group to Texas called police there. Cheryl Orange told The Associated Press she contacted police in Brownsville, Texas, after her friends crossed the border Friday to drop off one of their companions, who was planning to get cosmetic surgery. Orange said she was awaiting a call from a friend who survived the attack and could not provide more details. A police report filed by Orange gives the most detailed account of what led to the kidnapping that saw the surviving Americans whisked back to a U.S. hospital Tuesday.