Mexico opens probe into reported lake shooting
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ZAPATA, Texas—The Mexican government said Friday it has opened a federal investigation into the reported shooting of an American tourist on a border lake plagued by Mexican pirates and strongly denied delaying action on finding the man or his attackers.
A statement from Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs “categorically rejects claims to the effect that Mexican authorities are not doing enough to find” David Hartley.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Friday that while no evidence has caused investigators to question her story, the disappearance is mysterious.
“My question is, OK if he had a vest, why is the body not floating? We asked the Coast Guard, if he had a Jet Ski, would that Jet Ski be floating somewhere around? Our Mexican friends have said they’ve been searching around, they’ve even used a helicopter. If you have a general idea of where that is, why is the body not floating? Why is there not a Jet Ski?”
Cuellar went on to say “the bad guys could look at the Jet Ski as an asset that they could take” and that Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez “does have an eyewitness, a person that did see her coming in with a boat chasing her, so we have to rely on law enforcement officials.”
Gonzalez said the investigation so far has indicated Tiffany Hartley is telling the truth.
“Our information is indicating that the witness is reliable, the witness is truthful,” he said. The possibility the witness is not telling the truth “is always there, but the probability is very, very, low,” he said.
Evidence corroborating Tiffany Hartley’s story includes a tiny smear of blood on her life vest, Gonzalez said.
“Other evidence has surfaced,” he said. “I’m not at liberty to discuss it at this time, but it does indicate that she had nothing to do with” David Hartley’s death.
Texas game warden Jake Mort travels with an M-16 on a Parks and Wildlife boat, and a U.S. Coast Guard boat is seen in the background, on Falcon Lake, a lake that straddles the U.S. Mexico border, where where Coloradan David Hartley is still missing, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010 in Zapata, Texas. Hartley’s wife says her husband was shot to death by Mexican pirates chasing them on speedboats across the lake on Sept. 30 as they returned on Jet Skis from a trip to photograph a historic Mexican church. ((AP Photo/Eric Gay))