A Mexican police commander investigating the reported shooting of an American tourist on a border lake plagued by pirates was decapitated, a Texas sheriff says.
The death of Rolando Flores, commander of state investigators in Ciudad Miguel Aleman, was a message from gangsters for investigators to "stay out of their territory," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said. Flores was part of a group investigating the reported shooting of David Hartley on Falcon Lake.
"I think their attempt is to intimidate law enforcement, no matter who they are or where they are," Perry told The Associated Press.
Flores' decapitated head was found Tuesday in a suitcase outside a Mexican Army base, Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez told the AP.
Cartels have used beheadings in the past to terrorize the public and send messages to Mexican law enforcement. U.S. officials have said threats from drug gangs who control the area around Falcon Lake have hampered the search for Hartley, though divers have been in the lake searching this week. Hartley was reportedly shot Sept. 30 while touring the lake with his wife on Jet Skis.