Mexican Murder Mystery: Three Americans Dead in Last Three Weeks

A view of the city of San Miguel de Allende, where three Americans were killed in the last three weeks.
AP Photo/Marco Ugarte
A view of the city of San Miguel de Allende, where three Americans were killed in the last three weeks. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

Written by Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian and CBS Investigates Intern Vivian Giang

For decades the city of San Miguel de Allende, nestled along the mountainous region of Central Mexico, has attracted scores of Americans, Canadians and Europeans seeking to retire in the mild climate and tranquil, culturally-rich region.

But in just the past three weeks, the safe haven community - known for its low crime rates - has been shattered by the unsolved murders of three Americans.

On Feb. 6, 80-year-old Joseph Henry Feuerborn, an ex-Marine who had lived in San Miguel de Allende for 20 years, was found dead in his home. He is unofficially believed to have been beaten to death.

"It was a burglary, he was robbed and murdered," Gordon McCall told CBS News before departing for San Miguel de Allende to manage funeral arrangements for his step-father.

On Jan. 19, the first murder was uncovered when an 85-year-old man was reportedly found dead in his home, a plastic bag over his head and at least 15 stab wounds to various parts of his body. Peter C. Mudge was a retired interior designer and director of the Biblioteca House and Gardens tours.

Neighbors described the victim as a friendly man who frequently invited people into his home and taught English to anyone willing to learn.

Four days later, on January 23, the body of a young man is reported to have been found on the side of a road riddled with multiple gun shots wounds caused, most likely, from a .45 caliber firearm. The only name released to date for the deceased is "Andrew," and the man is believed to be between the ages of 29 and 31.

It is unclear at this point whether the drug-related violence that has plagued Mexico played a role in the recent murders.

In an email to CBS News, a State Department Official confirmed the deaths of the three individuals as U.S. citizens, but said in the interest of privacy could not provide any additional information.

"The U.S. Embassy has and will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance to the families of the deceased," said the official.

The city of San Miguel de Allende has a population of approximately 80,000 residents from 35 different nationalities with Americans making up a majority of that number. It is believed to be home to one of the largest collections of ex-Pat American citizens in Mexico.