An American comedian and activist was stabbed to death on Monday, December 11, after he was abducted during a trip to Colombia, the New York Post reported. Tou Ger Xiong, 50, an Asian-American living in Minnesota was on vacation in the South American country when the incident happened. His brother, Eh Xiong, confirmed his death Tuesday morning on Facebook.
“It is with immense sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the discovery of the body of our beloved family member Tou Ger Xiong was a cherished member of our family, and the pain of his loss is indescribable,” Mr. Xiong’s family wrote in the Facebook statement.
According to Colombian newspaper El Colombiano, Mr Xiong arrived in Medellin, Colombia, on November 29 and planned to spend the holidays in the country. On Sunday, December 10, he decided to meet a woman he met on social media. However, he was attacked and kidnapped by a group of men soon after he met the mystery woman.
The men held him hostage and contacted his family and friends for money. They demanded $2,000 but killed him a day later without collecting the money. His body was found in the waters of the La Corcovado ravine with multiple stab wounds and blunt-force trauma. Police are reportedly investigating if an escape attempt led to the murder.
After discovering his body, police went to his apartment and found a woman who was removing items from his room. She ran off when they tried to question her.
”We are cooperating fully with law enforcement agencies who are diligently working to investigate this heinous crime. We trust in their commitment to bringing those responsible to justice, and we implore anyone with information to come forward and assist in this effort,” a family statement read.
”This is devastating news. My heart goes out to Tou Ger Xiong’s family & our entire Hmong community. As a comedian and activist, his work touched many lives in the Twin Cities and beyond,” US Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) wrote on X, condoling his death.
This is devastating news. My heart goes out to Tou Ger Xiong’s family & our entire Hmong community. As a comedian and activist, his work touched many lives in the Twin Cities and beyond. https://t.co/A4ZBMi3sSV
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) December 12, 2023
Mr Xiong was a Laotian-American comedian, educator, and comedian who grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was known for his advocacy for the Hmong people, an indigenous group that lives primarily in Southeast Asia.
Kidnappings in Colombia are on the rise, according to authorities. Three American tourists, including Mr Xiong, have been murdered in the last month, El Colombiano reported.