(CNN) Three American women who crossed the US border from Texas to sell clothes at a flea market two weeks ago are believed to be missing in Mexico, police told CNN on Saturday.
Marina Perez Rios, 48, her sister Martiza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47, and their friend Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53, crossed into Mexico on February 24, Peñitas, Texas police chief Roel Bermea told CNN on Saturday.
Permea said the group traveled to the city of Montemorelos in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to sell clothes at a flea market. The flea market is about a 3-hour drive south of the US border.
The three girls went missing a week ago Four Americans were kidnapped March 3 in the Mexican border town of Matamoros, which is about 300 miles east of Montemorelos.
Two Americans, Shayed Woodard and Jindel Brown, were killed and their bodies were handed over to US diplomatic officials on Thursday, a Mexican official said. The two survivors — Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams — returned to the U.S. on Tuesday for hospital treatment.
Six people in total have been arrested Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica said Friday in connection with the March 3 kidnapping, including Tuesday’s violence.
A A letter of apology was issued On Thursday, the Gulf Cartel is believed to be responsible for the kidnappings, and the group handed over five of its members to local authorities, according to images circulating online and a version of a letter obtained by CNN from an ongoing official. Investigation.
US officials are offering help
Marina’s husband called the girls all weekend. When she didn’t hear from them on Monday, she turned to investigators for help, according to authorities.
The department confirmed the women crossed the border at the Anzaldúas Port of Entry on February 24 in a 1995 Chevy Silverado, the chief said.
Once the crossing was confirmed, the FBI was notified, Permia said.
CNN reached out to the FBI for comment, but did not hear back.
It is unclear whether Mexican authorities are investigating the matter.
A State Department spokesperson told CNN that “the department is aware of reports of three missing U.S. citizens in Mexico.”
“The State Department has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of American citizens abroad. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to American citizens and their families in need,” the spokesperson said.
“When a U.S. citizen goes missing, we work closely with local authorities as they conduct search efforts and share information with the family as much as we can,” the spokesperson said.
The Chief Minister urged the public to call local authorities with any information leading to the whereabouts of the women.