“All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” according to the statement, posted Sunday to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico’s website.
Oliver Rich, the FBI special agent responsible for its San Antonio Division, said the bureau was seeking assistance from the public in identifying the kidnappers. The FBI did not identify the victims in its statement.
The FBI, which is investigating the kidnapping alongside Mexican law enforcement agencies, is offering a $50,000 reward as authorities seek the gunmen’s arrest and the return of the victims.
The FBI, the State Department, and Mexican police did not immediately respond to requests to share more details about the case, including the identities of the victims, early Monday.
Tamaulipas, across from Texas’s southern tip, is one of six Mexican states to which the State Department advises citizens against traveling, citing the risk of crime and kidnapping.
“Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments,” according to State Department guidance. Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol border regions in the state, the guidance says.
The same day of the kidnapping, the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros said it had received police reports of a deadly shooting in the city and ordered U.S. government officials to avoid the area in the vicinity of Calle Primera and Lauro Villara. There was no immediate indication that the incident was connected to the kidnapping.