Body of missing North Carolina teacher recovered in Mexico


The body of a missing North Carolina teacher, who disappeared while hiking in Mexico, has been recovered, according to a Facebook page that was dedicated to the search for Patrick Braxton-Andrew.

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"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 post said.

Woodlawn School in Mooresville, where Braxton-Andrew taught, canceled classes Friday after learning of his death.

The Facebook page said on Friday that Braxton-Andrew, a Spanish teacher and Davidson College graduate, died Oct. 28 at the hands of a criminal organization in Mexico.

Since he was last seen on Oct. 28 in Urique, a tiny village in the country’s Chihuahua state, Braxton-Andrew’s family has been in Mexico working with local and U.S. authorities to locate him.

Chihuahua officials and Patrick Braxton-Andrew's family desperately searched for the missing backpacker for weeks. The family thanked the Chihuahua governor and attorney general for their "'unwavering commitment to locating Patrick."

On his official Facebook page, Javier Corral, the governor of Chihuahua, wrote that investigators believe Braxton-Andrew was killed by a narco-trafficker operating in the region named José Noriel Portilo Gil, also known as “El Chueco.”

“Through the advances in the investigation, I can say that it was a cowardly and brutal assassination of a person who was totally innocent, a clean man whose misfortune was to cross paths with this criminal,” Corral wrote.

 

Patrick Braxton-Andrew's brother, Kerry Braxton-Andrew, said the 34-year-old was last seen by a hotel employee in Urique, a remote town in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

>> Related: Missing North Carolina teacher killed in Mexico, according to Facebook post

The Mexico Daily News reported in January that 31 people died in seven hours there due to organized criminal activity.

The state government said in a statement Monday that searchers checked cabins in the area surrounding the village of Urique and rappelled down into 900-foot deep ravines looking for Braxton-Andrew.

Urique is a former mining village at the base of one of the many canyons that make up Mexico's Copper Canyon National Park.

According to the Washington Post, Braxton-Andrew was a fluent Spanish speaker who loved the language and had traveled widely in Central America and Mexico. He was originally scheduled to meet his brother in Mexico City on Oct. 30 after spending a few days hiking the Copper Canyon.

When he failed to show, his family began retracing his steps, eventually determining he was last seen leaving his hotel in Urique on Oct. 28.


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