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  • One of the two Americans gunned down three weeks ago by a Mexican cartel is being remembered as a sweet man who hoped to celebrate his birthday with a journey over the border. Over 100 people attended a Saturday funeral for Shaeed Woodard, whose was slain just days before he turned 34 during a tightknit friend group's road trip. Since then, an attorney for the Woodards says the family has received an outpouring of support.
  • Authorities in South Carolina say a former soldier shot and killed three children as they slept in their home while their mother frantically sought help. The ex-soldier then killed himself. Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark says Charles Slacks Jr. also killed an Army solider who worked with the children's mother and happened to be at the home. Slacks and the woman were divorced, but he still had a key and let himself in around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
  • A mother whose son was found dead in the middle of a South Carolina road eight years ago is opening a private investigation into his death after raising almost $90,000 amid the publicity surrounding the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh. The lawyers for Sandy Smith say there isn't any evidence linking Stephen Smith's death to the Murdaugh family. Investigators have remained tight-lipped about their reasons for taking over the case around the same time police said Murdaugh killed his wife and son. Stephen Smith was found dead on a lonely highway in July 2015. Investigators initially thought it was a hit-and-run, but authorities say no skid marks or vehicle debris was found near his body.
  • The sister of an American killed in an attack in Mexico says that she and he both had a bad feeling about the trip. Zalandria Brown tells The Associated Press over the phone that her brother Zindell Brown was worried about taking his first trip outside the country. He went down with a group of friends including one woman who was treating herself to cosmetic surgery and another who was celebrating his 34th birthday. She says her brother was extremely close to her.
  • 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 anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men, people wearing blindfolds and plenty of activity around a ranch. Mexican investigative documents viewed Friday by The Associated Press describe how authorities headed for the rural area east of Matamoros on Tuesday morning, leaving the highway and driving remote dirt roads looking for the described location.
  • A letter claiming to be from the Mexican drug cartel blamed for abducting four Americans and killing two of them condemns the violence and says the gang turned its own members who were responsible over to authorities. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement official, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros where the Americans were kidnapped, the Mexican woman who died in the cartel shootout and the four Americans and their families.