Mexican Police Official Investigating Border Lake Shooting Found Dead, Missing Head

The Associated Press |

U. S. and Mexican authorities say a Mexican state police commander investigating the reported shooting of an American tourist on a border lake plagued by pirates has been killed — and he reportedly was found decapitated.

Ruben Rios, spokesman for the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office, says Commander Rolando Flores, the head of state investigators in the border city of Ciudad Miguel Aleman, was killed.

Two U. S. congressmen from Texas said they had received grim details about Flores’ demise. The investigator “was found decapitated,” Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office said, while Rep. Aaron Pena said Flores “was delivered by way of a suitcase to Mexican military police.”

Rios said authorities “don’t know how or why he was killed. We don’t have any details on how he died.”

Tiffany Hartley said her husband David was shot to death by Mexican pirates chasing them on speedboats across Falcon Lake on Sept. 30 as they returned on jet skis from a trip to photograph a historic Mexican church. Neither his body nor his jet ski has been recovered.

Flores was investigating the disappearance of American David Hartley. Hartley’s wife, Tiffany, says she and her husband were attacked by pirates on Falcon Lake on Sept. 30, while they were returning to the United States from Mexico on Jet Skis. Hartley was shot and presumably fell into the lake.

Rios says his killing was unrelated to the investigation, but U. S. authorities have said threats of violence from drug gangs who control much of the area has hampered the search for Hartley’s body.

U. S. officials, particularly Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Hartley’s family have been pressuring Mexico to step up the search for Hartley and determine what happened.

Fred Garza, chief deputy sheriff in Webb County, on the Texas-Mexico border, said the search was continuing Tuesday.

A spokesman for Perry said the governor was being briefed and was expected to comment later Tuesday.

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