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Author Topic: Falcon Lake Shooting: David Michael Hartley Feared Dead(arrest)  (Read 23742 times)
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trimmonthelake
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« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2010, 08:33:45 AM »

http://www.city-data.com/forum/attachments/automotive/50289d1254777400-question-about-changing-brake-pads-whats-strong_coffee.jpg
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Mexican official investigating Falcon Lake disappearance ends up murdered


Read more: http://blogs.kansascity.com/crime_scene/2010/10/mexican-official-investigating-falcon-lake-disappearance-ends-up-murdered.html#ixzz12F2sdUJ5
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« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2010, 08:39:36 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/investigator-beheaded-11868037
Investigator Beheaded
10/13/10
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« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2010, 08:40:39 AM »

heard about this on one of the shows..maybe HLN..and they were saying that Tiffany and her family could also be in danger! they have 24 hr security...

I would be mortified. 
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« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2010, 04:21:36 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/10/12/texas.falcon.lake.head/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

     

(CNN) -- The lead Mexican investigator in the Falcon Lake case, Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, has been killed, his severed head delivered Tuesday in a suitcase to the Mexican military, officials told CNN.

"His head was delivered to the army garrison this morning in a suitcase after he failed to report back home last night," Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. said.

A spokesman for the attorney general of Tamaulipas state in Mexico, Ruben Dario-Rios, confirmed the killing Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview.

The report came a day after authorities in the Tamaulipas state attorney general's office gave conflicting information on whether authorities were pursuing a pair of suspects in the case of David Michael Hartley's disappearance.

Hartley's wife, Tiffany, told authorities that her husband was fatally shot September 30 during a sightseeing trip the two were taking on Falcon Lake, which straddles the border.

While Luis Homero Uvalle, a spokesman for the office, told CNN the suspects are brothers who are "well known to this area" -- identifying them only as "El 27" and "El 31" -- Dario-Rios, the chief spokesman for the attorney general said, "We have nothing official about suspects in the disappearance of David Hartley. I do not know where that is coming from."

Dario-Rios said Monday that Flores had not indicated to him that any suspects had been identified.

Eva Rodriguez, Flores' secretary, said the news of his death came as a surprise. "We saw [Rolando] last night," she said. "After he came back [from the search for Hartley] we were all together here in the office. That was the last time any of us saw him."

She said she was not aware that Flores -- whom she described as "very dedicated to his job" -- had received any threats from narcotraffickers.

"What can you do?" she asked. "We're still going to be here. We still have to work."

And, despite the fact that "we're all scared right now," their work will go on, she vowed. "The investigation and search will still continue," she said.

On Monday, Tiffany Hartley, along with David Hartley's mother, Pam, appeared on television talk shows asking for information to help investigators find those responsible for David's death and find his body.

"Until we have him back, it's not final," Tiffany Hartley said on NBC's "The Today Show."

On Sunday, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, and Parks and Wildlife officials were back on the U.S. side of the lake searching for new evidence in the case, said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzales.

Authorities from both nations have been conducting separate searches and holding regular meetings, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Virginia Staab said. But because the disappearance allegedly occurred on the Mexican side of the border, the United States cannot prosecute or make arrests in the case, the sheriff said.

Falcon Lake is a reservoir on the Rio Grande. The U.S.-Mexican border runs through the middle of the lake, with Zapata and Starr counties on the U.S. side.

Rep. Cuellar said 60 Mexican personnel, three boats and a helicopter had participated in the search.


 I'm moving this article from "News of the Day"  to the thread for David Hartley in "Unsolved Crimes". MuffyBee


« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 09:06:34 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #84 on: October 13, 2010, 08:54:08 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/13/falcon-lake-lawmaker-state-department-blissfully-silent-murder-probe/?test=latestnews
Falcon Lake Lawmaker: State Department ‘Blissfully Silent’ on Murder Probe
October 13, 2010

The State Department  has not delivered diplomatic assistance to the widow of a man shot down by drug lords while on a jet ski trip on the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe said Wednesday.

Poe, R-Texas, whose district contains the U.S. side of border-straddling Falcon Lake, said Tiffany Hartley did not even receive help from the U.S. consulate in Mexico to file a complaint against members of the Zeta drug cartel that is suspected of shooting David Hartley while the couple was skiing through the Mexican side of the border weeks ago.

"There seems to be inefficiency on this issue. She shouldn't have to be filing charges" on her own, Poe said, noting that the Mexican authorities were slow to help Hartley in part because they said she made no official complaint to the proper authorities. 

The State Department has also been "blissfully silent" on efforts to convince the Mexican authorities to let U.S. investigators help search for Hartley's body, Poe told FoxNews.com. The department must convince Mexican officials to let the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigators help conduct the search for Hartley's body and for the culprits, he said.

Poe sent a letter Oct. 4 to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying helping Hartley recover her husband's body is "the least" the State Department can do.

"We followed up yesterday to see when they were going to respond and they could not respond to our response," Poe said, adding that he hopes to have a reply soon from Clinton, who is traveling abroad right now.

The State Department has not responded to Fox News' request for comment, but the nation's diplomatic headquarters has warned Americans not to go to trouble spots in Mexico where drug traffickers control the country. Tamaulipas, where the Hartleys were visiting on the day of David Hartley's murder, is one of those areas.

Zapata County Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez, who was first to hear Hartley's account, said he has warned Hartley not to return to Mexico to give a statement to authorities there.

"Tiffany has given her official statement at the Mexican Consulate in Texas. She was assured by the government officials of Mexico and the consulate that her statement would go to any agency in Mexico that would request a copy of it," Gonzalez told Fox News, adding that the statement is "available to all Mexican agencies that may request them. I'd like to know what agency in Mexico is conducting the investigation of Mr. Hartley's murder because it was a murder case."

Poe said he doesn't think Americans any should be going to Mexico right now, and compared the danger to standing on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He noted that the U.S. basketball teams playing in a pre-season game in Mexico City this week were forced to stay in their hotel and "couldn't go anywhere except with armed guards."

"Portions of the Texas-Mexico border are in operational control of the drug cartels," Poe said. "I would tell Americans not to go to Mexico. ... the rule of law is breaking down."

Poe said that some Mexican officials are corrupt but others, including Rolando Flores Villegas, the police officer who took up Hartley's search and was found beheaded on Tuesday, are honest Mexican authorities overwhelmed by a drug war that has taken the lives of dozens of Americans and thousands of Mexicans.

"I'm sure they're intimidated, that's obvious," he said. "If they don't work for the drug cartels, the drug cartels go after them and use their bodies as intimidation."

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who is Hartley's congressional representative, expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the Flores family, noting that the police officer was killed for conducting the murder investigation.

"Commandante Flores had a reputation for cooperation and camaraderie with his American counterparts and he will sorely be missed. Commandante Flores and many of his peers had continued to search for David Hartley in the face of grave threats and imminent danger. This tragic incident demonstrates the continued efforts of the Mexican law enforcement community to help us in America solve the Hartley case," Cuellar said.

Meanwhile, Poe said the United States should reconsider financial aid to Mexico, which received $1 billion for the Merida Initiative aimed at helping law enforcement investigations but came with no strings attached. 

"I wouldn't be surprised if part of that money went to drug cartels," he said, adding that he has no knowledge of any accounting or audit of the cash assistance.

"Money always talks and we should limit and control any money that we send to Mexico," Poe said.

But Cuellar said the Merida Initiative, for which he is a vocal proponent, provides "ample support for our international partners in border security."
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« Reply #85 on: October 13, 2010, 08:56:03 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/10/13/texas.missing.american/
Cops vow killing won't stop search for missing American
October 13, 2010

Zapata, Texas (CNN) -- Despite the grisly slaying of the Mexican government's lead investigator, the search for an American reported missing in a lake straddling the border will go on, U.S. and Mexican authorities vowed Wednesday.

"We continue the search on this side of the border," Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. told CNN. "We're also sending a message that we're here."

But their determination has gotten them no closer to finding the body of David Hartley, who was reported to have been shot during a September 30 boating trip by gunmen investigators believe are linked to a Mexican drug gang.

"Our investigators are out there right now. A body has still not been found," said Ruben Dario-Rios, a spokesman for the attorney general of Tamaulipas state.

The search resumed after this week's killing of state police official Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, whose severed head was delivered to the Mexican military in a suitcase Tuesday, officials said. Tiffany Hartley, the missing man's wife, said she and her family were praying for the Flores family.

"He was so sincere and so considerate for us, it just breaks my heart that somebody would do that to him," she told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."

Tiffany Hartley told authorities that her husband was fatally shot September 30 during a sightseeing trip the two were taking on Falcon Lake, a reservoir on the Rio Grande. Gonzalez has said the gunmen were likely pirates linked to one of the Mexican drug cartels, and Hartley has said she believes the attackers may still have her husband's body.

"We just want David back," she said. "Maybe they can't provide a body, I don't know. But they can provide something of evidence, anything that would tell us where David's at.

"We just want him back. Give us that, and we'll go away."

The Tamaulipas attorney general's office gave conflicting information Monday about whether authorities were pursuing a pair of suspects in Hartley's disappearance.

While Luis Homero Uvalle, a spokesman for the office, told CNN the suspects are brothers who are "well known to this area," identifying them only as "El 27" and "El 31." But Dario-Rios, the chief spokesman for the attorney general, said Flores had not indicated to him that any suspects had been identified.

Gonzalez said the killing was intended as "a message to Mexico to back off, for the search to stop." But while searchers returned to the 60-mile-long lake Wednesday, the sheriff said the prospects for finding Hartley's body are fading.

"We have to admit that our chances are getting slimmer and slimmer as we go along," he said. "It's hard for the family."

Mexican and U.S. authorities have been conducting separate searches and holding regular meetings, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Virginia Staab said. But because the disappearance allegedly occurred on the Mexican side of

the border, the United States cannot prosecute or make arrests in the case, Gonzalez said.

Falcon Lake is about 70 miles west of the Hartleys' home in McAllen, Texas.
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« Reply #86 on: October 13, 2010, 08:59:06 PM »

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1013/Falcon-Lake-pirate-murder-Is-beheading-message-to-the-Americans
Falcon Lake 'pirate' murder: Is beheading 'message to the Americans'?

The beheading of a Mexican detective investigating the shooting of American David Hartley on Falcon Lake raises the stakes for both the US and Mexico. The Hartley probe appeared to be narrowing to two alleged members of the Zeta cartel.
October 13, 2010

The beheading of a Mexican detective  investigating the Sept. 30 shooting of American David Hartley on a border lake is forcing both the United States and Mexico to weigh the pros and cons of a potential standoff with cartel-linked pirates on Falcon Lake.
Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, a homicide detective for the border state of Tamaulipas, was killed and his head delivered in a suitcase to a military outpost just days after he handed documents to a Texas TV station naming two Zeta cartel members as suspects in the shooting on Falcon Lake. The 60-mile-long lake straddles Texas and Mexico.

"The will of both nations is at stake right now," says Texas legislator Aaron Peña, who broke the story of the beheading via Twitter on Tuesday. "I think what [the beheading] does is strengthens resolve of people on the American side of the border and for the Mexican government exposes a do or die circumstance."

Coming after a record 79 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2009, the Falcon Lake shooting and the murder of the Mexican investigator has become a talking point in the Texas gubernatorial race, and has sparked calls for the White House to get directly involved by further militarizing the border.

On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday issued a new travel warning, for the first time bluntly telling people, "just don't go" to Mexico, reported KURV radio in McAllen, Texas.

"[The cartels] have notched it up a level, and the [beheading] is a message to the Americans as well," says Gary Freeman, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, and an expert on border politics. "The beheading has such strong resonance with Islamic fundamentalism that it raises the specter of groups in Mexico being as fanatical and as bloodthirsty as Osama bin Laden and his gang. They seem to be copying some of their techniques, and that might be deliberate."

The Sept. 30 shooting of Mr. Hartley, who was sightseeing on his Jet Ski deep on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake with his wife, Tiffany Hartley, is the most dramatic of a series of incidents in which armed men in boats have confronted, and in some cases robbed, US bass fishermen working the far shore of the lake.
Calls to beef up military presence

Falcon Lake, created in 1954, has long been a smuggling zone for drugs and humans, and is difficult to patrol. In the past year, tensions have risen as the Gulf Coast Cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, fight each other and the Mexican government in Mexico City for control of smuggling routes and remote hideouts like Falcon Lake.

To be sure, some have doubted Ms. Hartley's story of how the couple was chased by pirates and her husband killed. Others, including some US politicians, have questioned why the Hartleys ventured into Mexico despite warnings about pirate attacks.

But the beheading of the Mexican detective, says Mr. Peña, creates a new level of outrage in the US-Mexico border lands.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) last week urged the Obama administration to bring more national guard troops and to add armed aerial drones to patrol Falcon Lake. Governor Perry has resisted sending the Texas Rangers, who are under his command, to Falcon Lake in fear of political repercussions should someone get killed or hurt.

Last weekend, Sigifredo Gonzalez, sheriff of Texas's Zapata County, declined offers to help Mexican state authorities search the Mexican side of the lake, fearing a shootout. That came as other incidents of "spillover violence" from the drug war in Mexico, which has claimed more than 26,000 lives in the past four years, began to worry many in the borderlands.
Did detective have a lead?

Though Mexican authorities had publicly said they had no suspects, the Mexican homicide detective, Mr. Flores, delivered documents to KRGV-TV over the weekend that named two suspected Zeta members, Juan Pedro and Jose Manual Saldivar Farias, in Hartley's shooting, the TV station said.

According to the documents, the pair are members of the pirate contingent that has terrorized US boaters and residents of a nearby Mexican town, and both men are already wanted by Mexican authorities on murder and robbery charges, the TV station's statement alleges.

"I would assume he was killed because he was either trying to assist in the rescue operation or search operation, or because he may have provided some documents to the media, from what I understand," Sheriff Gonzalez told KRGV Tuesday.

In the wake of the new murder, border politicians stepped up calls for President Obama to become more directly involved in the US response, which has so far involved a contingent of local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities.

"There's no excuse for Obama not getting down here," says Peña. "We're only going to resolve it with a federal response. Just hoping that it's going to go away is not going to happen."

While much of the political debate in the US has focused on illegal immigration, the gruesome Falcon Lake cases could reshape the border debate as the cartels attempt to intimidate state and federal governments on both sides, says Professor Freeman.

"Our concern about migration … is missing the point," he says. "Now it's really lawlessness on both sides and the spread of violence across the border that has really created a great crisis. With the increase in violence, people are going to have to rethink their attitude toward the border and think of that river or line in the sand as being something that might need to be seriously enforced."
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« Reply #87 on: October 13, 2010, 09:03:03 PM »

think we can close our borders now???
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« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2010, 01:20:09 PM »

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=215041
INVASION USA

Investigator's decapitation is 'message to White House'
Mexican drug cartels declaring U.S. 'no longer controls border'

Posted: October 13, 2010
11:50 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
The decapitation of the lead Mexican investigator in the alleged murder of a jet-skier on a border lake is a sharp retort to President Obama's administration, a Texas congressman said.

"The Mexican drug cartels just sent a message to the White House that the United States no longer controls the border," Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told WND.

The severed head of investigator Rolando Armando Flores Villegas was delivered this week to an army garrison in Ciudad Miguel Aleman in the Tamaulipas state in Mexico. The city is across the river from Zapata County, Texas, the location of Falcon Lake, where David Michael Hartley allegedly was killed by Mexican pirates while he was jet-skiing with his wife Tiffany.
Only last week, Tiffany Hartley met with Flores in Ciudad Miguel Aleman and reported that the investigator seemed to be working hard to find her husband, according to ABC News
When the Los Zetas drug cartel commits a murder, they dispose of the body where it will never be found, or they use the body to send a message to law enforcement," Poe said. "By decapitating Rolando Flores, the Mexican drug cartels sent a message to Mexico to stop investigating Hartley's murder."

The White House should not be intimidated, Poe insisted.

"Now is the time we should be sending more National Guard to the border."

Last week, Poe was joined by 20 members of the House to introduce the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, H.R.6253, authorizing the secretary of defense to make 10,000 National Guard troops available upon request by a U.S. governor to serve at the border under the command of the requesting governor.

Poe believes the Flores murder is just one more indication Mexico's drug war is out of control and increasingly dangerous to U.S. citizens.

"The decapitation of Rolando Flores is a warning to the United States and to Mexico that this portion of the border is protected by the Zetas," Poe said. "The Zetas intend to protect their drug routes on the border from law enforcement regardless whether that law enforcement is from Mexico or the United States."

Poe doubts Mexico will make serious efforts to apprehend David Michael Hartley's killers
Thousands of drug-related homicides are committed in Mexico every year, and very few are ever solved," he stressed. "That Mexican authorities have suggested Tiffany Hartley may have been involved in foul-play in her husband's death should make it clear Mexican law enforcement officers have no intention of seriously investigating or solving the crime."

Marco Antonio Guerrero Carrizales, the district attorney for the Miguel Aleman Province, adjoining Falcon Lake on the Mexican side of the border, has questioned whether Tiffany Hartley was involved in foul play.

As WND previously reported, Texas Zepata County Sheriff Sigifredo "Sigi" Gonzalez Jr. believes Hartley was killed by Mexican pirates operating on Falcon Lake as drug cartel operatives.

"A local witness saw Tiffany Hartley escaping on her jet-ski to the Texas side of the lake," Gonzalez said. "She came in at high speed and was being pursued by armed men in a Mexican fishing boat that that the witness clearly observed."

Gonzalez said the witness was a long-standing member of the Zapata community who was well known to him and regarded as highly credible.

He said the statement of the witness was recorded in the police file but the name of the witness was being withheld from the public to protect his privacy.

The testimony of this witness dispels any idea Mrs. Hartley was involved in any wrongdoing regarding the murder of her husband," he said firmly. "She called in a 911 phone call to our office at around 2:20 pm on the day of the incident, immediately after she got to shore, and her statements to my office confirm what the local witness observed."

Gonzales confirmed to WND that he had interviewed Mrs. Hartley himself.

He attributed the failure to recover David Hartley's jet ski and his body to the unwillingness of Mexico to cooperate

"The drug cartels operate from an island on the Mexican side of the lake," Gonzalez explained.

"Mexican law enforcement authorities do not control the lake – the pirates do," he said. Tons of illegal drugs are warehoused on that island by the drug cartels for smuggling into the United States and the pirates are well armed."

Emphasizing the need for the National Guard bill, Poe said the "first duty of the federal government is to protect its people."

"Texans are tired of the federal government's failure to secure our borders and enforce our laws, yet at the same time running roughshod over state governments when they try to enforce the law and protect their citizens," he said.

The Obama administration entered U.S. District Court to oppose Arizona's tough immigration law SB 1070, resulting in a decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to strike down several key provisions of the law.

In the past four years, an estimated 28,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related violence.

Currently, the Department of Defense has allocated only 250 National Guard troops for the entire 1,256 mile-long Texas-Mexico border.

Under the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, National Guard troops would be authorized to conduct:

Armed vehicle and foot patrols of the U.S. southern border;


Interdiction of a vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other similar activities;


Search, seizure and detention of suspects;


Construction of roads, fences and vehicle barriers;


Search and rescue operations;


Intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance;
Aviation support.
Additionally, the bill would allow the secretary of defense to authorize additional troops should operational control of the U.S. border not be achieved with the first 10,000 deployed.
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« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2010, 02:21:37 PM »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39669630/ns/world_news-americas/
Sheriff: Jet Ski killing blamed on mistaken identity
Report says Mexican drug cartel took American for spy of rival gang
October 14, 2010

 Authorities believe the death of an American tourist on a lake on the Texas-Mexico border may be a case of mistaken identity in a turf battle between rival drug cartels, a sheriff confirmed Thursday.

"It wouldn't be unheard of for cartels to do this and it's the way cartels work," said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, who is heading the investigation on the U.S. side.
David Hartley vanished on Sept. 30 while jet skiing with his wife on Falcon Lake.

Tiffany Hartley said they were chased across the lake by men in speedboats as they returned from a trip to photograph a Mexican church. Neither David Hartley's body nor the Jet Ski has been recovered.

Hartley, of McAllen, Texas, is believed to have been shot by Zetas cartel enforcers because he was mistaken for an operative of the rival Gulf cartel, according to an independent intelligence report.

"The truck Hartley and his wife used to put their Jet Skis in the water at the lake had Tamaulipas state plates, and the Hartleys drove the Jet Skis to the Old Guerrero area of the lake, a known battleground in the ongoing war the Los Zetas and Gulf cartels," according to STRATFOR, a Texas-based think tank on intelligence and international issues.

"Given the couple’s license plate and method and direction of travel, it is possible that Zetas scouts identified them as a Gulf cartel surveillance team," STRATFOR said in its report.
"A damage control campaign is currently under way, led by Los Zetas No. 2, Miguel 'Z-40' Trevino Morales, to identify and eliminate those who engaged the Hartleys without proper authorization," according to the report.

It said Hartley's body had been destroyed as part of that effort.

The war between the Zetas and Gulf cartels erupted earlier this year over a fatal shooting and has spread through the Tamaulipas border region, Gonzalez said.

On Tuesday, the beheading of Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, the lead Mexican investigator in the Hartley case, was a chilling reminder of the cartel's brutal intimidation tactics.
Texas officials have long warned boaters and fisherman that pirates frequent the Mexican side of the lake, a 25-mile by 3-mile dammed section of the Rio Grande, Gonzalez said.

"The cartels do not normally target American citizens not involved in the narcotics trade, but cases of mistaken identity have occurred in the past," STRATFOR said.

Nonetheless, the lake can be treacherous, Gonzalez said.

"Anyone going into the area is going to get stopped and checked by the cartels," he said. "They have machine guns. They will pull you aside, grab you, put you on their boat face down, and with their knees into your back and a machine gun into your head, they will ask you who you are."

Gonzalez said the Hartleys tried to flee after they were stopped "and the shooting started. One unlucky shot hit in the man in the head."
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« Reply #90 on: October 14, 2010, 08:35:15 PM »

But they leave a witness? Yeah right, when pigs fly
 
IMO TYH is not telling the truth!
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« Reply #91 on: October 15, 2010, 08:17:19 PM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20019717-504083.html
David Hartley Update: Mexico Suspends Search for Missing American Tourist
October 15, 2010

McALLEN, Texas (CBS/AP) The search for American tourist David Hartley, whose wife insists was shot to death by pirates near the U.S.-Mexican border, has been temporarily called off, according to Mexican officials.
Tamaulipas state attorney general's office spokesman Ruben Dario Rios Lopez told the McAllen newspaper The Monitor  that the search was suspended Thursday so that authorities can look into new strategies to find him and hopes police will be able to resume "in a few days."

Hartley's wife, Tiffany, says they were on their way back to the U.S. after photographing a historic Mexican church when pirates in boats opened fire on them, shooting her husband. She says she tried to help her husband but had to flee because they kept shooting.

Earlier Thursday a U.S. consulate official said Hartley may have been a victim of mistaken identity.

"I think what you had is two innocent American tourists who mistakenly stumbled into a bad area and were pursued and the shooting occurred," said Brian Quigley, spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.
Tamaulipas state is the center of a violent rivalry between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, a brutal drug gang made up of former Mexican special-forces soldiers. The search for Hartley's body has been repeatedly hampered by threats of an ambush from drug gangs, presumably the Zetas.

This week, a state police commander in Tamaulipas, Rolando Flores, who was investigating the Hartley disappearance, was killed, his decapitated head delivered in a suitcase to a local Mexican army post.

Mexican authorities say they don't know if Flores' death was related to the Hartley case because he was working on numerous investigations involving drug gangs.

Although no sign of Hartley or his Jet Ski have been found after more than a week of searching the lake, Quigley and local officials in Texas say they still believe Tiffany Hartley's story. The Stratfor report theorized that once the killers realized Hartley was an American, they destroyed the body to avoid a U.S. backlash.
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« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2010, 08:18:40 PM »

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Search-for-David-Hartley-on-Hold/vEgfg8rHXU-CK2u6ELGdvA.cspx
Search for David Hartley on Hold
October 15, 2010

ZAPATA COUNTY - The search for David Hartley's body is now on hold.

Mexican authorities suspended the search for David Hartley's body Thursday.

The Tamaulipas governor says the FBI is involved in the investigation.

Eugenio Hernandez Flores says the FBI and Mexican authorities met with the Hartley family in McAllen today.
Flores says, "We have a close relationship with FBI in Mexico, Texas, and here (Washington DC). So, because we work together almost everyday, we have a lot of jobs to do together."

A Tamaulipas state attorney general spokesman denied reports cartel threats had anything to do with suspending the search on Falcon Lake.
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« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2010, 08:21:57 PM »

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1015/Mistaken-identity-theory-gains-traction-in-Falcon-Lake-pirate-attack
Mistaken identity theory gains traction in Falcon Lake 'pirate' attack

An intelligence firm suggests that Americans David Hartley and Tiffany Hartley, who were attacked on Falcon Lake along the Texas-Mexico border, were mistaken as drug cartel spies by junior members of a rival Mexican gang.
October 15, 2010

Officials on the US side of Falcon Lake, where David Hartley, a US tourist, was shot on Sept. 30 while Jet Skiing, are giving some credence to a theory that Mr. Hartley and his wife were mistaken as drug cartel spies by "pirates" linked to another cartel, setting in motion a tense, and ongoing, international incident.
US and Mexican authorities so far have no official explanation for the shooting of Hartley, but a report by a global intelligence firm posited this week that Mr. Hartley and his wife, Tiffany Hartley, stumbled into an ambush engineered by lower-level cartel members – perhaps teenagers – who made an unauthorized decision to confront and fire upon the couple.

Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, the lead Texas investigator into the shooting, acknowledged on Thursday that it "wouldn't be unheard of" for cartel members to confront suspected spies.

Howard Campbell, author of "Drug War Zone," told CNN Friday that the shooting may be the result of the Zeta cartel, which is believed to be behind Hartley's murder, growing more desperate beneath a government crackdown and intensifying battles with other drug lords.

"There are reports that recently the Zetas have become a bit desperate and have been using ill-trained, reckless teenagers which can lead to mistakes of this kind," he told CNN in an e-mail Friday. "The leaders of Mexican drug cartels try to minimize attacks on Americans because they know this would bring pressure on their organizations."

Ms. Hartley told police in the US that lake "pirates" shot her husband and chased her into Texas waters before she got away.
A test for Mexico

That confrontation appears now to have roiled the local cartel wars, even as it has called into question the Mexican government’s ability to withstand intimidation from fearless cartels.

According to the anonymously sourced Stratfor report, the beheading this week of a Mexican investigator looking into the attack, Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, was roundly seen as a stern message to both Mexican and US authorities "that no body will be produced and to leave the situation alone."

On Thursday Mexican authorities ended a two-week search for Mr. Hartley.

"[As illustrated by the Falcon Lake situation], the stability of the Mexican political system seems to be under threat," says Gary Freeman, a political scientist at the University of Texas, in Austin. "These narcotrafficking drug lords seem to have no fear, and there's such corruption in the police that I just wonder how they can put the cap back on the bottle."

The Stratfor report has been neither confirmed nor denied by US law enforcement authorities.

According to the report, the Hartleys, who had recently moved back to the US from Mexico for safety reasons, showed up at Falcon Lake with a Jet Ski trailer bearing Tamaulipas state tags. The Stratfor report, which notes that rival drug cartels routinely use Jet Skis to spy on one another, says scouts from the notorious Zeta gang may have instead pegged them as spies from the Gulf Coast Cartel. Stratfor says a radio communication reporting the presence of the Jet Skiing couple was monitored.

Stratfor says the apparent case of mistaken identity may prove costly for some of the Zeta "pirates" who have terrorized US bass fishermen on the Mexican side of the lake at least five times this year. According to the report, after the men apparently broke cartel protocol by not getting authorization to confront the Jet Skis, the No. 2 Zeta cartel chief, Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, is hunting for the men so he can "take care of them himself."
"[A] damage control campaign is currently under way … to identify and eliminate those who engaged the Hartleys without proper authorization," according to the Stratfor report. "Once Hartley was identified as an American, his body was destroyed the same day as the incident to prevent a backlash from the US government against the group."

The Zetas are fighting against their former bosses, the Gulf Coast Cartel, for control of parts of the border, including Falcon Lake.
Battles in Mexico

Gun battles have been reported near Falcon Lake in the aftermath of the Hartley murder. On Oct. 8, Mexican military engaged cartel members near New Guerrero in a battle that left six dead, including one soldier. On Thursday, an American traveler along the Rio Grande reported hearing a two-hour gun battle near the lake.

“The gunfire started at 9 a.m. this morning," Jay Johnson-Castro, a US environmentalist, told the Rio Grande Guardian newspaper. "As long as we were outside, we heard it. We were outside for quite a few minutes. It sounded like a real battle going on. It was automatic fire; then you would hear individual shots and then more automatic fire, and then rifles going."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the United States is "doing everything that we know how to do" to find Hartley. "I hope that we can [find him]. I mean, the beheaded body of the brave Mexican investigator that just showed up shows what we're dealing with."

Mexican authorities on Thursday denied Mr. Flores' killing had anything to do with the Hartley investigation, saying he had many enemies in the area. But a Rio Grande Valley TV station says Flores, a few days before his murder, handed off documents to the station pointing to two specific Zeta cartel members, a pair of brothers who are wanted in Mexico on murder and robbery charges.

On Thursday, a search-and-rescue effort on the Mexican side that had involved more than 100 boats and divers ended. "Our investigators have taken a temporary recess so that we can better assess the strategies we are using to find the body. We are currently considering other approaches to our search," said Ruben Dario Rios, Tamaulipas state attorney general, according to CNN.

Falcon Lake, a historic smuggling route, has just this year turned into a major flashpoint in Mexico's drug war, raising worries on the US side about "spillover violence" that will affect Americans more directly. At the same time, it has given Americans a personal glimpse into the workings of fearless and ruthless cartels involved in a war with the Mexico government that has
cost more than 26,000 lives, including cartel ordered assassinations of mayors and police officials.
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« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2010, 08:26:20 PM »

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=526807
RAW VIDEO - Tamaulipas Governor Speaks About Slain Investigator (at link)
October 15, 2010
Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernandez-Flores was in Washington DC today where he spoke about a slain police commander killed after searching for missing American David Hartley.

Hernandez-Flores spoke with CNN about the death of Tamaulipas State Police Commander Rolando Armando Flores-Villegas.

Hartley remains missing more than two weeks after allegedly being shot by gunmen on boats on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake.

Commander Flores-Villegas was one of the Mexican authorities helping in the search for Hartley's body.

Flores-Villegas was killed and decapitated with his head left in a suitcase at a Mexican army post in Miguel Aleman.

Gov. Hernandez-Flores reiterated previous statements from Mexican officials officials that Flores-Villegas was killed due to an investigation in another case.

The governor said authorities couldnt' comment on the case at this time.
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« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2010, 09:33:45 AM »

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/mexico_suspends_search_for_hartley_105039659.html
Mexico quits its search of Falcon Lake
By Lynn Brezosky - Express-News Web Posted: 10/16/2010 12:00 AM CDT
BROWNSVILLE — Mexican state police said Friday they have ended the search on Falcon Lake for David Michael Hartley, contradicting reports to U.S. officials and the missing American's family that the efforts had been stopped only temporarily.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, the lead U.S. investigator in the case, said state police in Tamaulipas told him they had nowhere left to search.

“It's been over two weeks,” he said. “The probability of finding the body is dimmer and dimmer. They've looked everywhere.

“They gave it a very good shot,” he added. “They even lost a police officer.”

But Cynthia Young, Hartley's mother-in-law, said the family hadn't heard the search was over and maintained hope his remains would be found.

“What we've heard is that they are probably not going to search for a while but it will be picked back up,” she said. “They're just trying to strategize at this point.”

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said he, too, had been informed the stoppage was temporary.

“Today the specific question was asked and they said they're hoping to resume the search this weekend or even on Monday,” he said.

Hartley, 30, is presumed dead after he and his wife, Tiffany, were attacked by boatloads of gunmen during a Sept. 30 sightseeing trip on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake.

Tiffany Hartley has said they were shot at after they rode their personal watercraft toward historic ruins, not knowing they were making a dangerous encroachment into territory of the Zeta drug thugs.

She escaped with a tale that at first drew skepticism but since has brought international attention to the threat of drug cartels along the border.
On Tuesday, a Tamaulipas police commander who had apprised the family on the search turned up dead, his head delivered to the Mexican military in a suitcase.

Funeral arrangements for Cmdr. Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, a native of Tampico, were pending, a colleague said.

Cmdr. Gilberto Lerma, a colleague in Reynosa, remembered Flores Villegas as a respected public servant who had headed state police operations in Miguel Alemán, across the border from Roma.

“He was a good investigator, a good police officer,” Lerma said.

Meanwhile, the search for Hartley has from the beginning been hampered by the international boundary bisecting the lake.

U.S. officials by treaty can't search on the other side, and Mexico is fiercely protective of its sovereignty.

The lake is said to be prime territory of the Zetas, who are in a vicious war against the Gulf Cartel and its allies.

STRATFOR, an Austin-based intelligence group, has concluded that Zeta scouts spotted Mexican license plates on the Hartleys' vehicle as they approached the lake and mistook them as spies.

The Hartleys had lived for the past two years in Reynosa, Mexico, while David worked for an oil company.

(Page 3 of 3)They were days away from returning to their native Colorado.

Laredo Morning Times Staff Writer César G. Rodriguez contributed to this report.


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« Reply #96 on: October 17, 2010, 12:07:23 AM »

"David Hartley's wife, Tiffany Hartley, is preparing to return to their home state of Colorado as the probe of David's death continues, reports CBS News Correspondent Don Teague"

http://wap.cbsnews.com/site?t=xqr7LaR4G9QLliEjuvH8wA&sid=cbsnews


Wife gives 2nd statement on border lake shooting


Mrs. Hartley said that pirates shot her husband in the neck and that she barely escaped when they shot at her when she tried to retrieve him.

http://www.cbs8.com/Global/story.asp?S=13336504

----

Hmmmm.
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For Natalee and Stephany, whatever it takes.

-JUSTICE FOR NATALEE ANN - BOYCOTT ARUBA
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"Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do." Thomas Jefferson
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."Thomas Jeff
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« Reply #97 on: October 17, 2010, 02:05:39 AM »

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/video/?videoId=632799582001&lineupId=1184677040

Tiffany: (audio)

 5:20 mark


David getting shot -

She definitely says:

BECAUSE HE WAS BEHIND ME, I DIDN'T SEE IT.

--

10:50
POLYGRAPH TEST?

"We said it's an option, i don't think i have to do one (polygraph)
but, you know, if it ends up
HAVING to be done then we'll THINK about that. but as of right now
I'm not too WORRIED."


--

14:40 (more Tiffany audio)

We didn't wear wedding rings that day because we might lose it.

So, I was thankful that he had it at home, so I could have it.

--

How kind of David to leave his wedding ring at home.

Tiffany even gives you the reason:

"So I could have it."

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/video/?videoId=632799582001&lineupId=1184677040

David must also be psychic, just like Tiffany.
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For Natalee and Stephany, whatever it takes.

-JUSTICE FOR NATALEE ANN - BOYCOTT ARUBA
------------------
"Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do." Thomas Jefferson
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."Thomas Jeff
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« Reply #98 on: October 17, 2010, 08:46:24 AM »

http://www.themonitor.com/news/private-43647-zetitas-detective.html
Private detective: ‘Zetitas' killed Hartley
Comments 7
October 17, 2010 12:34 AM

EDINBURG — While Mexican officials have put the search for McAllen man David Michael Hartley on hold indefinitely, a local man believes he has many of the answers to the mystery of the disappearance.

Hartley, 30, is widely presumed dead after what his wife, Tiffany Young-Hartley, has described as an attack by cartel "pirates" on the Mexican side of Falcon Reservoir, which spans that country’s border with the United States.

She has said three boats of gunmen opened fire on them, fatally shooting her husband in the head, as the couple rode separate personal watercraft during a sightseeing trip to a partially submerged church in the abandoned Mexican town of Old Guerrero.

STRATFOR, an Austin-based think tank that focuses on the drug war and other global security issues, reported Wednesday that the Sept. 30 incident may have been a case of mistaken identity by the Zetas drug trafficking organization.

On Saturday, prominent Edinburg private detective Raul G. Reyna Jr. told The Monitor that the theory put forward earlier in the week by a STRATFOR analyst — that the attack on the Hartleys may have been a matter of mistaken identity — is more complicated than what really happened.

Reyna, owner and lead investigator for GOTCHA! Investigations, an Edinburg-based agency that has gone into Mexico to seek out and bring numerous criminal suspects back to the United States, has been looking into the Hartley case on his own.

Reyna believes, after talking to his "network of intelligence sources in Mexico," that the lowest ranking members of the Zeta drug cartel were responsible for the shooting. The "Zetitas," or baby Zetas, shot at the couple to try to steal the personal watercraft they were riding, he said.

"The kid that shot (at the couple) did not know how to handle the weapon," he said. "Because of the recoil (and power of the weapon) one of the shots got away from him and he shot Hartley."

Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said Saturday that he believes some of Reyna’s claims are possibly true, but added that Reyna needs to be careful about nosing around too much in this case "because he’s going to come up missing a head."

Gonzalez pointed out that Reyna’s state-issued private investigator’s license is expired, a fact confirmed by Reyna who said he has been awaiting its renewal since applying for it on Oct. 8.

"Yes, it was a baby Zeta," Gonzalez said. "Some of them are 15, 16 and 17 years old that operate that area."

The private investigator also claims the name of the shooter was Guadalupe Gomez, also known as "El Piojo," Gomez was killed in Matamoros on Friday, Reyna said.

Mexican investigators in Nuevo Laredo who are dealing with the case were unable to comment Saturday evening. They also could not verify if Guadalupe Gomez was dead or alive.

Gonzalez said he was also unsure if there was any validity behind the investigator’s claim of who the shooter was.

Gonzalez added that he does not believe that theft of the Hartleys’ personal watercraft was actually the motive in the shooting. However, he does believe the group of young men shot at the Hartleys as a scare tactic, which was used in several other incidents on the Mexican side of the lake earlier this year.

After reviewing the other cases," he said, "the same (scare tactics) were used in the other cases."

Another claim Reyna makes, which coincides closely with the theory put forward by STRATFOR, is that the "Zetitas" were not ordered to kill Hartley by Zeta leaders.

"They did all this without the consent or knowledge of the main Zeta group," Reyna said.

Sheriff Gonzalez agreed. The sheriff’s investigators are continuing to work on the case regardless of whether Mexican officials are searching for the body, which he believes will not turn up.

"We have also scaled down," he said. "If we know there’s no body to be found, why should we risk more people searching? Why should we risk having people out there searching and getting beheaded when we can’t find a body? The next step (for U.S. officials) is to continue to develop as much info as we can to pass along to the Mexican officials."

As the investigation began, following the Sept. 30 incident, Tiffany Young-Hartley was asked to give a statement to Mexican officials. However, after many invitations from Mexican officials, Young-Hartley refused to cross the border. However, Gonzalez said Saturday that Young-Hartley went to the Mexican consulate’s office in McAllen again on Friday to file a second statement.

"The (district attorney) in Matamoros wanted her to go his office and (the district attorney) in Miguel Aleman wanted her to go to his office (to give a statement)," he said. "She already gave one. They wanted to get another. So she did it here (in the United States)."

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« Reply #99 on: October 17, 2010, 10:12:24 AM »

* One slight change - it wasn't his wedding ring she was touching.

She said it was the ring he liked to wear all the time. His favorite ring.


"We didn't wear rings that day because we might lose it."

because it is hard to tell with bad audio

she may have said


"He didn't wear rings that day because he might lose it"

"So, I was thankful that he had it at home, so I could have it."

---

I guess, the wedding ring wasn't his favorite and he didn't like to wear it everyday. 
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For Natalee and Stephany, whatever it takes.

-JUSTICE FOR NATALEE ANN - BOYCOTT ARUBA
------------------
"Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do." Thomas Jefferson
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."Thomas Jeff
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