Body of NC teacher killed by ’criminal organization’ found in Mexico
NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - The body of a North Carolina teacher who went missing while hiking in Mexico and was killed by a “criminal organization,” was recovered Sunday.
Patrick Braxton-Andrew, a 34-year-old Spanish teacher, was last seen on October 28 by personnel at a hotel he was staying at in Urique, a former mining village at the base of one of the many canyons that make up the Copper Canyon National Park.
The Facebook page dedicated to the search for Braxton-Andrew confirmed Sunday that his body was recovered and will be brought back to North Carolina soon.
“It is with a sense of relief that we are able to confirm that Patrick’s body has been recovered and we will be able to bring him home soon,” the Facebook post read.
According to a Facebook group that has been following Braxton-Andrew’s disappearance, the Davidson College graduate was killed on Oct. 28 “at the hands of a criminal organization that operates in the area where he was traveling.”
The Facebook group says they got the new information from Chihuahua State authorities.
"Patrick died doing what he loved—traveling and meeting people," the post announcing the news read. "Join us in celebrating his life as he would want us to do. We will always remember Patrick and his joy for life. We love you PBA."
Two weeks before the terrible news, more than a hundred police officers fanned out in the northern Mexico state to search for Braxton-Andrew.
The Chihuahua state prosecutors' office shared pictures of police and volunteers searching for him along rocky paths and steep gorges.
The picturesque network of canyons is also plagued by violent conflicts over illegal logging, which locals accuse of being fronts for money laundering by Mexican drug cartels.
There is no word on how Braxton-Andrew may have been killed or what evidence led authorities to believe he was killed by a criminal organization.
Copyright 2018 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.