A fifth passenger who was denied entry to Mexico where her four friends were later kidnapped by crime and drug syndicate Gulf Cartel said that she thought they’d been arrested because they were known to ‘party and use narcotics.’
Cheryl Orange said that she’d traveled to the southern border with Latavia ‘Tay’ McGee, Eric Williams, Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard for her friend’s cosmetic tummy tuck.
Orange’s trip came to a sudden halt when she was denied entry because she lacked the proper identification – the four carrying on to Matamoros where they were caught in gang crossfire before being abducted. Only Williams and McGee surviving the ordeal.
In an text exchange with Associated Press, Orange said that her friends were supposed to return after dropping McGee to her ‘tummy tuck’ and – when they didn’t return she grew concerned and alerted police.
It comes as footage of the group driving down to the southern border – filmed in the lead up to the tragic kidnapping – emerged in the wake of their kidnapping.
A fifth passenger, identified as Cheryl Orange, who was denied entry to Mexico where her four friends were later kidnapped by crime and drug syndicate Gulf Cartel said that she thought they’d been arrested because they were known to ‘party and use narcotics’
A case report states that Orange ‘appeared worried and nervous’ and ‘an odor of marijuana’ had been ’emitting from her person’
Footage obtained by the NCbeat appear to show McGee, Eric Williams, Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard and a fifth passenger named Cheryl Orange happily singing as they road trip to the southern border.
Orange stressed to authorities that the group had been at the southern tip of Texas for the cosmetic procedure as lengthy rap sheets emerged of the four members who were hauled into a truck and kidnapped for four days by Mexican crime and drug syndicate the Gulf Cartel.
A case report obtained by NewsNation states that Orange ‘appeared worried and nervous’ and ‘an odor of marijuana’ had been ’emitting from her person.’
The report from the Brownsville Police Department also stated that: ‘Cheryl did not appear to know the details of Latavia’s surgery, but did state that she believed the surgery to be a gluteal augmentation.’
The report continued: ‘Cheryl stated that she would not be surprised if her friends got arrested because they are known to party and use narcotics.’
The five friends had driven a rented minivan from South Carolina on Thursday to the southern tip of Texas, according to a police report based on Orange’s account. Four of them left Friday morning around 8:00am to go to Mexico.
On the drive south, footage uploaded to Facebook stories show the five friends singing and joking with one another revealing a fifth passenger, now identified as Orange, sleeping in the back.
In one video a person named ‘Tay,’ a nickname of McGee’s, can be heard speaking to another passenger saying ‘We’re on the way to Mexico b****.’
The video then pans to the other passengers in the car including Orange who can be seen laying next to the passenger filming that NCbeat have identified as Williams.
‘Mexico here we come,’ Williams is heard saying before laughing and talking about the group pulling into a gas station.
Orange’s trip came to a sudden halt when she was denied entry because she lacked the proper identification – the four carrying on to Matamoros where they were caught in gang crossfire before being abducted. Only Williams and McGee surviving the ordeal
In an text exchange with Associated Press , Orange said that her friends were supposed to return after dropping McGee to her ‘tummy tuck’ and – when they didn’t return she grew concerned and alerted police
These are the current travel advisories for Mexico from the US government. Only two states – Yucatan and Campeche – are completely free of advisories
A second video shows the group sharing snacks and laughing while a third video shows the fifth person in the car hiding behind Williams as he films.
It remains unclear at what point during the trip the video footage was filmed – the group in clearly high spirits as they made their way to the Brownsville port of entry.
Woodard’s fiancé said that he would have been celebrating his 34th birthday on Thursday, according to Fox 29.
What appeared to start as an average road trip between friends quickly turned into a nightmare, when Orange was left on the U.S. side of the border.
A frantic effort to rescue her four friends came after Orange contacted police when they did not return to the U.S. side as expected.
Orange, who did not cross into Mexico with the others, said that her three friends were supposed to return within 15 minutes after dropping off their companion, McGee, for cosmetic surgery in the Mexican border city of Matamoros on Friday.
Orange stayed behind at a motel in Brownsville, Texas, and said she grew concerned as the hours passed and she did not hear from the others.
Orange’s statements and the report offer the most detailed account so far of what led to the kidnapping that saw McGee and another friend whisked back to a U.S. hospital Tuesday after Mexican authorities rescued them and found the bodies of their two friends at a wooden shack six-and-a-half miles outside of Matamoros. The attack also left a Mexican woman dead.
Orange told police she didn’t cross the border because she didn’t have her identification.
She said she could not provide additional details because she was awaiting a call from McGee, who was to be released from a hospital in Brownsville.
The other wounded American, Eric Williams, was also being treated at the hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg. Brown and Woodard died in the attack.
Orange confirmed via text that the friends went on the trip to accompany McGee for cosmetic surgery.
‘She simply went for a cosmetic surgery, and that’s it. That’s all, and this happened to them,’ Orange said at the time.
Mexican authorities have said the group was fired on and crashed their van soon after they crossed into Matamoros Friday, as drug cartel factions tore through the streets.
The Americans were hauled off in a pickup truck, and Mexican authorities frantically searched as the cartel moved them around — even taking them to a medical clinic — ‘to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them,’ the region’s governor, Américo Villarreal, said Tuesday.
Orange told authorities in Brownsville that she had everyone’s luggage but had been unable to reach them, according to the police report.
‘She tried calling their cell phones but they sound turned off,’ the report states.
It said Orange was given a phone number to follow up with criminal investigators on Monday if she hadn’t heard from her friends.
Mexican authorities found the group Tuesday in a wooden shack — guarded by a man who was arrested — in the rural Ejido Tecolote area east of Matamoros on the way to the Gulf area called ‘Bagdad Beach,’ according to the state’s chief prosecutor, Irving Barrios.
Family members of Brown revealed that he’d been reluctant to travel south of the border.
‘Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,’ Brown’s sister Zalandria said in a phone interview with AP.
Zalandria, who lives in Florence, SC, said his death has been ‘like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from.’
‘To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable,’ she added.
Images from the moment of the kidnapping emerged on social media in which the group of four were seen hauled onto the back of a truck by Gulf Cartel
DailyMail.com revealed lengthy rap sheets for all four victims of the Mexico kidnapping. Woodard was charged with the ‘manufacturing and possession’ of drugs and pleaded guilty, while Brown was also charged for ‘possession of marijuana or hashish’
Brown and Woodard’s bodies will be brought home today after being prepared for repatriation at the Forensic Medical Service morgue in Matamoros.
DailyMail.com revealed that Williams was previously busted for ‘distributing crack near a school,’ while McGee has been slapped with ‘unlawful conduct towards a child,’ when her daughter tested positive for amphetamines.
Woodard was charged with the ‘manufacturing and possession’ of drugs and pleaded guilty, while Brown was also charged for ‘possession of marijuana or hashish.’
The four were found in a rundown stash house near a place known as La Lagunona in the town of El Tecolote – about six-and-a-half-miles from where they were taken.