A North Carolina schoolteacher who disappeared last month while out for a walk in Mexico is dead, according to a post on the verified Facebook page of Chihuahua's governor.
Patrick Braxton-Andrew, 34, from Davidson, left his hotel in Urique on October 28. Gov. Javier Corral Jurado, writing in Spanish, said that Braxton-Andrew crossed paths with a drug dealer from the Sinaloa cartel and was killed in a "cowardly and brutal murder."
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A Facebook page set up to find Braxton-Andrew said that Chihuahua state authorities had confirmed the death and are searching for those responsible to bring them to justice. His body was recovered over the weekend.
"The family would like to thank the Chihuahua Governor and Attorney General for their unwavering commitment to locating Patrick," a message said on the Find PBA page.
"Patrick died doing what he loved — traveling and meeting people. 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."
Braxton-Andrew taught Spanish at the private Woodlawn School in Mooresville, north of Charlotte. "You taught us to live life to the fullest, and your life will continue to inspire us," the school wrote on its website. Classes were canceled Friday in remembrance.
The teacher's disappearance garnered national and international attention. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina tweeted about the case two weeks ago, saying that he was working with the State Department and Mexican law enforcement. On Thursday, Tillis tweeted that he and his wife were deeply saddened to learn of the death.
"Patrick's family deserves justice, and I will continue to work with the @StateDept and federal officials as Mexican law enforcement continues their investigation," he wrote.
Davidson flew flags at half-staff in his memory on Friday, the town said on Facebook.