Two family members of actress and former Miss USA, Ali Landry, were found dead in Veracruz over the weekend after being abducted from their home. Juan Manuel Gomez Fernandez and Juan Manuel Gomez Monteverde were at home in Tampico, Tamaulipas, (located in Mexico) when they were kidnapped. According to People magazine, a ransom was demanded for their release, but although it was paid, the kidnappers refused to free them.
CNN reports that Juan Manuel Gomez Fernandez and his son, Juan Manuel Gomez Monteverde, were kidnapped September 4 after leaving Tampico, Tamaulipas. The area is widely known for its dangerous gang activity. The Latin Times wrote that Monteverde’s brother, Juan Manuel, was a business partner at a local restaurant that has allegedly been involved in drug cartel activity in the past.
The disappearance of Landry’s relatives was reported and filed in Mexico City with the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Investigations. Omar Zuniga, spokesman for the Veracruz state prosecutor’s office, said Thursday that an official investigation into the murders has been launched.
The two men were members of the family of Ali Landry’s husband, acclaimed film director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. Alejandro Gomez Monteverde is mostly known for directing the comedy-drama, Little Boy, a film that focuses on the love a father has for his little boy and the love a son has for his father.
It was reported that both Juan Manuel Gomez Fernandez, Landry’s father-in-law, and Juan Manuel Gomez Monteverde, her brother-in-law, suffered traumatic head injuries and had been dead for some time when they were discovered on Saturday.
According to several reports, both were kidnapped as they left their home in Tampico, Tamaulipas and were reported missing a short time later. After the kidnapping, money was paid for their rescue but the kidnappers did not keep their word, killing the hostages instead of returning them.
Ali Landry won the Miss USA crown in 1996 and quickly became famous as “the Doritos Girl” from her 1998 Super Bowl commercial. She married Monteverde in 2006 after a short marriage with television personality Mario Lopez. The couple has three children together.
The brutal murders of Landry’s in-laws caught the attention of Mexican actor and producer Eduardo Verastegui, and he expressed his condolences through his Twitter account.
“With a heart full of pain and sadness, I ask for prayers for my friend and brother Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and his family,” the tweet read.
[Image courtesy of Rachel Murray/Getty Images Entertainment]