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Thursday
Oct072010

Eyewitness in Alleged Mexican Pirate Attack Case Comes Forward

Photo Courtesy - ABC News | Google Maps(MEXICO) -- An eyewitness has come forward in the case of the American who was allegedly attacked by Mexican pirates to claim he saw the man's panicked wife as she fled to the American side of Falcon Lake.

"I saw the Jet Ski come around an island," the witness told ABC News.  "There was something wrong actually. The way I saw her come around it looked like something terribly wrong happened. I mean, she was jittery, frantic....She was crying, sobbing."

As a safety precaution, the witness spoke in shadow and with voice alteration to avoid identification because he said he feared for his life.

What the witness did not see -- what apparently no one but the alleged victims and attackers saw -- was what exactly happened on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, which straddles the border between Texas and Mexico. Tiffany Hartley said she and her husband, David, took Jet Skis to the Mexican side of the lake to take pictures of a small church when suddenly a band of Mexican pirates opened fire on them with assault rifles. In a heart-wrenching 911 call, Hartley tells the dispatcher that her husband has been shot in the head and that she is too weak to pull his body up onto her Jet Ski. She was forced to abandon him there.

Tiffany Hartley returned for the first time Wednesday to the location where she said her husband was killed last week.

Mexican authorities launched a search by boat and air for the 30-year-old's body Wednesday after repeated pleas for increased effort from Hartley. The search was halted, reportedly after threats from Mexican drug cartels, but it was to resume Thursday, Hartley said.

Copyright ABC News Radio

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