SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CBS/AP) Tiffany Hartley has not wavered from her story about the group of pirates that she says attacked her and her husband David Hartley while they were jet skiing on a lake that straddles the U.S-Mexico border. Now it seems the Mexican government might finally believe her.
After Mexican soldiers searching for David Hartley's body were drawn into a gunfight this weekend with members of the Zeta drug cartel, officials have named two known members of the cartel as suspects.
Investigators now say brothers Juan Pedro and Jose Manuel Zaldivar Farias may have killed Hartley as he snapped photos of a sunken church from a personal watercraft, said Tamaulipas State Police unit chief Juan Carlos Ballesteros.
Tiffany Hartley and the rest of David Hartley's family have grown increasingly frustrated by what they see as a lack of cooperation on the Mexican side.
"I think that lake will probably be David's headstone," Dennis Hartley, David's father, told CBS News.
Tiffany Hartley sounded a bit more optimistic, telling CBS News' The Early Show on Monday, "I think they finally decided this story needed some action behind it. And if, you know, if these people are the right people, hopefully they can lead us to where David's at," she told the morning show Monday.
Additional evidence that has been gathered on the American side seems to bolster Tiffany's story as well, including a "dash cam" video showing a state trooper pulling the Hartleys over, jet skis in tow, on Sept. 30, according to The Early Show. In the video the trooper asks David Hartley where he was headed and David can be heard replying "the Falcon," referring to the border lake where the alleged attack took place.
Tiffany Hartley said her husband, David, was shot to death by Mexican pirates chasing them on speedboats across Falcon Lake on Sept. 30 as they returned on jet skis from a trip to photograph a historic Mexican church. Neither his body nor his jet ski has been recovered.
Tiffany Hartley told Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez that she tried to retrieve her husband but left him behind when she was forced to flee in a hail of bullets. Blood samples taken from her life jacket also appear to support her story.
Tamaulipas' state civil protection said it has 102 people scouring the surface of the reservoir with the help of three boats, five all-terrain vehicles and 53 trucks.