October 2nd, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Sheriff: Body of American shot by Mexico pirates still missing

Days after an American man was fatally shot by pirates on a lake that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, his body still has not been found, a sheriff told CNN on Saturday.

Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. of Zapata County, Texas, said U.S. authorities have not made much progress because the incident happened on the Mexican side of Lake Falcon.

“The body was not recovered” by U.S. authorities and is presumably still in the lake, Gonzalez said.

“We’ve been in touch with Mexico authorities but they say they don’t know anything about a body,” Gonzalez said.

Texas Rangers and Texas Parks and Wildlife reconnaissance teams have joined local and state authorities in searching for the body, according to CNN affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, Texas.

The man believed to be fatally shot is David Hartley, 30, according to KSAT. His wife, Tiffany, tried to rescue him but had to flee under fire, KSAT reported.

Tiffany Hartley told law enforcement authorities that the couple were riding personal watercraft in the lake Thursday afternoon when four boats of gunmen approached them and started shooting, according to CNN affiliate KGNS in Laredo, Texas.

"This  couple ventured into these waters deep into Mexico," Gonzalez said. "This gentleman was hit in the back of the head with a bullet.

"The woman was able to escape them," Gonzalez said, by "accelerating as fast as she could." He said the lake is safe on the American side, “just don’t cross into Mexico."

The part of the lake where the incident occurred is technically in the municipality of Guerrero, a city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, Gonzalez said. The state has made headlines recently as a hotbed for drug cartel violence.

Gonzalez said that while nothing about the suspects is known, he strongly believes they are pirates linked to drug cartels across the border.

“We have no suspects. None. But the descriptions [of the suspects] would be drug cartel members or the gofers of the drug cartels,” he said.

Gonzalez said this is not the first time there has been trouble on the lake.

“We had some problems in April and May,” he said. “It’s a very, very popular lake for bass-fishing, and what was happening was some people were being robbed.” But this is the first time the incidents have been fatal, he said.

Zapatas County, Texas, is about 50 miles from the Mexican border.

Gonzalez, who was born and raised in Texas, said, "People in this country who don’t live around the border don’t know what’s really going on here."

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Drug violence • Mexico • Pirates • Texas
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. roger

    shut down the border!

    October 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • nursechris

      Living in a border state (California) I like this idea!

      October 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kari

    Pirates? What is this? Peter Pan?

    October 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Pirates? Like Cap'n Hook? I bet Tinker Bell led their way out.

      October 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bumble

    I know that they put out warnings and that people are blaming this American for being dumb and going some place "He had a right to go to" and that it is his fault for getting shot.

    Excuse me! This is our freaking country and we should have a right to go anyplace in it we damm well please. The government needs to pull their heads out and toss political correctness and sensitivity out the freaking window and get our Army down there and show those worthless Mexican drug runner how it's done. Pump some bullet out at those lowlifes and mean it for crying out loud.

    October 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • nursechris

      Well...it USED to be our country.

      October 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • uhoh

      He did not have a right to go there, he entered into Mexico illegally. American's do not 'freaking own' Mexico as you are saying.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rd

    I think the wife killed her huband and is blaming it on pirates. It wouldn't suprise me if she just recently took out a large insurane policy on her hubby. Why would the pirates only shoot him and not them both? He got hit in the back of the head. Are there bullet holes in the boat? I hope I'm wrong but I think the wife did it. I am very sorry if she is innocent but is sounds fishy to me.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella

      You are right.

      October 2, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • vkatnyte

      there were witnesses you ass. stop watching crappy tv.

      October 4, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Survivor

    Since Mexican cartels members are located on our side of the Arizona border in Buena Vista National Park, time to lock and load and clear them out. Start a fire on all four sides of the park and shoot anything on two legs.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chicagoK

    Another death because of the Democrat Party's illegal drug fascination. Heck, Obama lets one kid per week be murdered in Chicago at the hands of the drug gangs! Illinois Dems don't care! Drugs support the party!

    October 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kaye

    and closed borders is a bad idea?....um why?.....noooo lets keep feeding and educating and housing the illegals....then when they chit on us we can hire them a corrupt lawyer to call us racists and uncaring....welcome to america!!

    October 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hitobito

    Ref Ted: We cannot let this happen vis a vis H.R.: This bill has virtually zero chance of passing. Read the bill, it is not as you describe in your post. It essentially covers new purchasers of guns. You appear to be a bit of an alarmist. BTW, I have five weapons and learned how to use them working the US government. I also know how to use RPGs, and a .50 cal Barrett M82A which is my weapon of choice.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. aj

    Reading some of the comments on here is a perfect example of why the libs want to socialize. It's to protect you from yourselves.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LA

    So, for no apparent reason (robbery doesn't appear to be the MO, as there is nothing about the couple being robbed stated or objects taken from them) four boats of gunmen randomly select this couple to shoot at and murder?

    Hmmm, me thinks someone should look a little deeper at the wife. Maybe a nice payout from a hefty insurance policy? I mean, if you wanted someone murdered, why not take them out to the lake, into the mexican side, claim he was shot for no apparent reason by random "pirates/cartel members" and claim you miraculously escaped under a hail of gunfire. No body, no evidence, no suspects... the perfect crime.

    October 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella

      I agree. Her story makes no sense. The wife did it. This is the border version of the fictional black assailant.

      October 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mar

    I am sure they were trying to steal their drugs

    October 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kari wuhrer

    If the boaters disregarded warnings it still doesn't make sense for them to be shot at and killed unless it's "because" they are Americans. There's gonna be a big nasty situation in the not too distance future.

    October 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ted

    Gun owners.... Look what's on the 2010 tax return..

    My Apologies to everyone for Not Checking this story out throughly. I didn't know it was an "old" rumor and my source, I thought. was reliable.

    But it does go to show how the Obama Administration has our entire nation in an upheaval. and expecting the worst. This "Pretender to the Throne"...MUST GO......

    October 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • pkfops

      Ted- Those rumors are spread by the far right ( & FOX). Stick to your local news, PBS or foreign (BBC) sources for accurate reporting. Don't you know the GOP wants you to be afraid?

      October 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kari wuhrer

    The body can't be found? I bet the mexicans have it and are raping him. That's what mexicans do.

    October 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pdikeman

    Remember...THE ALAMO......

    October 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
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