The FBI has appealed for help in finding Armando Torres III, a U.S. Marine who was kidnapped in Mexico along with his father and uncle.
In a statement on its website, the FBI said Torres had gone just across the border to visit his father’s ranch in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, on May 14, when he was abducted.
His father Armando Torres II and uncle Salvador Torres, both Mexican citizens, were also taken.
“Shortly after he (Torres) arrived at the ranch, armed gunmen entered the ranch and took all three Torres family members by force. They have not been seen or heard from since this event,” the FBI statement said.
A criminal investigation is underway in Mexico and the FBI said it was also conducting an “international kidnapping investigation and is vigorously pursuing all investigative leads.”
The statement said Armando Torres III was a U.S. Marine and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His sister Cristina Torres, 24, who lives in Virginia, told The Monitor newspaper, which is based in McAllen, Texas, that the family thought the kidnapping was related to a land dispute as drug traffickers have been trying to get the property because of its position close to the border.
She also said that her cousin witnessed the kidnapping.
“She saw a white truck with people in it and they just went in the house and got my brother and my dad and my uncle and just put them in the truck and took off,” Cristina Torres said. “They took a lot of their belongings in the house and they took the cars, as well.”
The Monitor said the kidnapped Marine, of Hargill, Texas, has two children, aged 4 and 3.
Friends and fellow Marines have started a Facebook group called “Get Our Brother Back” in support of Torres. It had 1,372 members at 6:40 a.m. ET Tuesday.