The FBI issued an appeal for the public’s help in the kidnapping of a U.S. Marine at gunpoint in Mexico.
Armando Torres III, a U.S. citizen and Marine in the Individual Ready Reserve and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, drove across the border on May 14 to visit his father’s ranch in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, which is located near the International Port of Entry Bridge at Los Indios, Texas.
Soon after Torres arrived at the ranch, armed gunmen stormed the property and took the 25-year-old Marine as well as his father, Armando Torres II, and his uncle Salvador Torres, both Mexican citizens.
The gunmen also reportedly took belongings from the house and the family’s cars.
The Marine’s sister, Cristina Torres of Virginia, told The Monitor newspaper in McAllen, Texas, that drug traffickers had been trying to acquire the ranch because of its proximity to the border but the Torres family wouldn’t give it up.
“She saw a white truck with people in it and they just went in the house and got my brother and my dad and my uncle and just put them in the truck and took off,” Cristina Torres said of a phone call she received from her cousin minutes after the kidnapping.
The three Torres family members haven’t been seen or heard from since the kidnapping.
The FBI opened a concurrent investigation to the Mexican government’s probe “and is vigorously pursuing all investigative leads,” the bureau said.
Armando Torres III lives in Hargill, Texas, and is the father of two boys aged 3 and 4.