An American comedian and activist was stabbed to death on Monday, December 11, after he was kidnapped during a trip to Colombia, the New York Post reported.
Tou Ger Xiong, 50, an Asian-American living in Minnesota was on vacation in the South American country when the incident happened. His brother, Eh Xiong, confirmed his death Tuesday morning on Facebook.
“It is with immense sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the discovery of the body of our beloved family member Tou Ger Xiong was a cherished member of our family, and the pain of his loss is indescribable,” Mr. Xiong’s family wrote in the Facebook statement.
According to Colombian newspaper El Colombiano, Tou Ger Xiong arrived in Medellin, Colombia, on November 29 and planned to spend the holidays in the country.
On Sunday, December 10, he decided to meet a woman he met on social media. However, he was attacked and abducted by a gang of men soon after he met the anonymous female.
The men held him captive and contacted his family and friends for money. They demanded $2,000 but murdered him a day later without collecting the money.
His body was found in the waters of the La Corcovado ravine with several stab wounds and blunt-force trauma. Police are reportedly investigating if an escape attempt led to the killing.
After noticing his body, police went to his room and found a female who was removing things from his room. She ran off when they tried to interrogate her.
”We are cooperating fully with law enforcement agencies who are diligently working to investigate this heinous crime. We trust in their commitment to bringing those responsible to justice, and we implore anyone with information to come forward and assist in this effort,” a family statement read.
”This is devastating news. My heart goes out to Tou Ger Xiong‘s family & our entire Hmong community. As a comedian and activist, his work touched many lives in the Twin Cities and beyond,” US Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) wrote on X, condoling his death.
Mr Xiong was a Laotian-American comedian and educator who grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was known for his support for the Hmong people, an indigenous group that lives primarily in Southeast Asia.
Abductions in Colombia are on the rise, according to officials. Three American tourists, including Mr Xiong, have been killed in the last month, El Colombiano reported.