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David Hartley Update: Police Questioned American Tourist's Wife for Eight Hours

David Hartley Update: Police Questioned American Tourist's Wife for Eight Hours
David and Tiffany Hartley (Personal Photo)

McALLEN, Texas (CBS/AP) The search for American tourist David Hartley, whose wife Tiffany insists was shot to death by Mexican pirates, may have been suspended due to intensifying violence on the U.S.-Mexico border, but the investigation is moving forward.

PICTURES: Tiffany and David Hartley

On Friday, Mexican authorities interviewed Hartley's wife for more than eight hours, later saying that she "provided valuable information that will allow federal investigations to continue."

Tiffany told CBS News' "The Early Show" Monday that she was asked about her last day with David in "major detail" and claims that it was not an interrogation.

"(Friday's questioning) was just a witness statement," she told the morning show. "We just, between translation and having to go between Spanish and English, it took a long time and then, of course, taking some breaks."

Mexican investigators plan to interview her again today, but Zapata County, Texas Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, who is also investigating the murder, wonders why.

"I think what they're really doing is trying to discourage her from filing a complaint. I think because of threats from the cartel," Gonzalez told CBS News.

Tiffany says they were on their way back to the U.S. after photographing a historic Mexican church when pirates in boats opened fire on them, shooting her husband. She says she tried to help her husband, but had to flee because they kept shooting.

Although no sign of Hartley or his jet ski has been found after over a week of searching the lake, local officials in Texas say they still believe Tiffany Hartley's story.

According to Austin, Texas-based research group Stratfor, which analyzes the Mexican drug war, the Hartleys may have been mistaken for drug runners from a rival cartel, and once the killers realized Hartley was an American, they destroyed the body to avoid a U.S. backlash.


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