North Carolina teacher Patrick Braxton-Andrew was murdered by the Sinaloa drug cartel after he went missing during a sightseeing trip, the man’s family members announced.
The 34-year-old Spanish teacher went missing in late October in the town of Urique. As NBC News reported, his family members had flown to Mexico after realizing he was missing and local authorities searched for him.
This weekend, the family took to a Facebook page dedicated to giving updates about his disappearance and announced that he had been killed.
“Patrick died on October 28th at the hands of a criminal organization that operates in the area where he was traveling,” family members wrote.
A second announcement on Saturday noted that they had found his body.
“It is with a sense of relief that we are able to confirm that Patrick’s body has been recovered and we will be able to bring him home soon,” the wrote.
Javier Corral, the governor of Chihuahua where Patrick Braxton-Andrew went missing, said they were determined to find the people responsible for killing the North Carolina teacher and bring them to justice. They named a suspect, a drug dealer who is believed to work with the notorious Sinaloa cartel.
“I can say that this was a brutal and cowardly murder of a completely innocent person; of a straightforward man whose only misfortune was to cross paths with this thug,” Corral wrote in a Facebook post in Spanish, via the Charlotte Observer.
Family members said Patrick Braxton-Andrew arrived in Mexico a few days before his disappearance and spent most of the weekend sightseeing. He left his hotel at close to 4 p.m. the day he vanished, with most of his belongings still in the hotel. It took two days for family members to realize that he was missing after he failed to show up to meet his brother in Mexico City.
An experienced backpacker, fluent in Spanish, Patrick Braxton-Andrew went for a hike alone near the tourist site Copper Canyon. Mexican authorities say he was murdered by a member of a drug cartel. By @meganspecia https://t.co/xlFDMLBEMT— GJS-Security (@GJSsecurity) November 18, 2018
The town where he disappeared is popular with tourists, but is also a busy drug trafficking corridor, the Charlotte Observer noted. There has also been a spate of drug-related violence in the area, mostly related to the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
The Facebook page dedicated to finding Patrick Braxton-Andrew has turned into a de facto memorial, with many leaving messages about how he touched their lives and others remembering his adventurous spirit. While the circumstances of the man’s disappearance were not clear, his family said he was an avid traveler and often went on international trips alone.