Entries in David Hartley (2)


Narcoboss 'Commander Squirrel' Linked to American's Mystery Death on Falcon Lake

ABC News / Google Earth(NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico) -- Mexican authorities have arrested an alleged drug cartel leader known as Commander Squirrel who they say is linked to the 2010 murder of American jet skier David Hartley on a border lake, as well as to more than 200 other deaths in Mexico.

After a gunfight on Saturday evening in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexican Marines captured Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, AKA the Squirrel or Commander Squirrel, who earned his odd nickname for his permanent smile and for allegedly helping direct operations for the violent Zetas cartel in Coahuila, Tamalapais and Nuevo Leon states.

David Hartley's wife Tiffany says that she and her husband were jet skiing on Falcon Lake on the Texas-Mexico border on Sept. 30, 2010, when unknown assailants shot David Hartley in the head. Tiffany Hartley says she sped back toward the U.S. shore of the lake, and was unable to pull her husband's body onto her jet ski.

Hartley's body has never been recovered, and a Mexican official who attempted to investigate the death was found beheaded. Authorities speculated that the Hartleys had interrupted a drug transaction on the Mexican side of the lake.

In a written statement, the Mexican Navy did not elaborate on Martinez Escobedo's alleged role in the Hartley killing, but did say he was believed linked to hundreds of deaths. They alleged that he ordered the killing of 72 undocumented migrants who were found dead on a ranch in Tamaulipas state in August 2010, and was responsible for hundreds of other deaths.

"Squirrel is credited with being the mastermind of the deaths of 72 undocumented migrants in San Fernando," said the statement. "[He] is the alleged perpetrator of the narco graves found in Tamaulipas state, with more than 200 bodies and the execution of more than 50 people by his own hand in different parts of the republic, [as well as] the murder of David Hartley, an American citizen killed at Falcon Dam on September 30, 2010."

The statement also alleged that the Squirrel was responsible for the murder of the police official investigating Hartley's death.

According to Mexican media, Commander Squirrel's arrest was followed by massive "narco blockades," or street barricades, in Nuevo Laredo.

The Squirrel and five other Zetas suspects, including men known as the Cherry and the Stutterer, were presented to the media during a Mexico City press conference on Monday morning. Martinez Escobedo was not smiling in pictures taken at the press conference.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Falcon Lake: Bones of Slain American Jet Skier Found?

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(NUEVO CIUDAD GUERRERO, Mexico) -- Skeletal remains found in a lake on the Texas-Mexico border are being tested to see if they belong to the American was allegedly shot by Mexican drug cartel members there last year.

The widow of David Hartley, Tiffany Hartley, told police the couple was jet skiing on Falcon Lake at the Texas-Mexico border when they were attacked by Mexican pirates. David Hartley was shot in the head.

The remains were found 15 miles from where Hartley disappeared by professional fisherman Alton Jones, who was fishing on the Mexican side of the lake. They are now in the custody of the Mexican government, according to police.

Jones posted on his Facebook page, “The fishing on Falcon was great. But unfortunately, our fun was over shadowed when we found a dead body on the Mexican side of the lake. We contacted the border patrol and they are notifying the Mexican authorities with the details. The body apparently had been there for a long time, because all that was left was the skeleton.”

The Zapata County Sheriff’s Department told ABC News the feet of the remains were tied together, but cautioned that because of the drought and the drug running activities on Falcon Lake, many bodies have turned up so it’s too early to speculate that this could be David Hartley.

DNA test results will determine if the remains belong to Hartley.

Tiffany Hartley said she is hoping for confirmation that the remains are indeed her late husband, according to The Coloradoan.

“I instantly, of course, am thinking of David and that this is going to be him. We’ve been praying for this for 15 months now and we’re just hoping that this is going to be our end-of-the-year miracle. It might not be him and we know that, too,” she told The Coloradoan.

Hartley said last year that she tried as hard as she could to pull her husband onto her own Jet Ski to take him to safety, “but he’s a lot bigger than me.”

“You can’t imagine how awful it was not being able to help him,” she said.

Only days later, the lead Mexican investigator on the case, Rolando Flores, was found decapitated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio