Mistaken Identity Blamed in Murder of US Jet Skier

New theory says Mexican gang thought he was drug runner

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 14, 2010 5:49 PM CDT

(Newser) – A missing US tourist may have been gunned down while jet-skiing because a Mexican drug gang thought he was part of a rival gang. That's the conclusion of a public policy research group—expert on Mexico's drug world—that looked into the case of David Hartley, reports AP. His wife, Tiffany, says he was shot to death on Falcon Lake after they were attacked by men with automatic weapons in three speedboats.

"I think what you had is two innocent American tourists who mistakenly stumbled into a bad area and were pursued and the shooting occurred," says a spokesman for the US consulate in Matamoros. Authorities had warned US citizens to stay off the Mexican side of the lake after a series of thefts. Hartley's body still hasn't been found. Click here for more.

A man on a U.S. Coast Guard vessel uses binoculars on Falcon Lake in this file photo.
A man on a U.S. Coast Guard vessel uses binoculars on Falcon Lake in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In this Oct. 6 file photo, Tiffany Hartley, left, and family members, lay a wreath near the site where her husband, David Hartley, was shot.
In this Oct. 6 file photo, Tiffany Hartley, left, and family members, lay a wreath near the site where her husband, David Hartley, was shot.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Nikki Hartley, sister of David Harley, wipes tears from her eyes in this file photo.
Nikki Hartley, sister of David Harley, wipes tears from her eyes in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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