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US comedian kidnapped, murdered in Colombia knew woman who lured him to his death, brother says

The death of Tou Ger Xiong, a Hmong American comedian and activist, in Colombia on December 10, 2023, has cast a shadow over the comedian’s community and reignited concerns about tourist safety in the South American country. New details emerging from the case suggest Xiong may have been targeted by someone he believed to be a friend.

Xiong, a 50-year-old resident of Minnesota, was a frequent visitor to Colombia. According to his brother, Eh Xiong, Tou Ger had met the woman suspected of luring him into a kidnapping plot on a previous trip. Eh Xiong stated that his brother had photos of the woman and her friends on his phone, suggesting a level of familiarity. These details, combined with the testimony of Tou Ger’s roommate who had seen the suspect before, reportedly aided Colombian authorities in apprehending her.

Eh Xiong expressed his fear that the suspect may have been cultivating trust with his brother over multiple visits, ultimately setting a trap that led to his tragic demise on December 10th. This chilling possibility highlights the dangers of potential manipulation by unknown individuals, even if a sense of connection seems to exist.

The events that unfolded paint a grim picture. Following his abduction, Tou Ger reportedly contacted both his brother and another friend, pleading for a $2,000 ransom for his release. These calls included the harrowing detail of being held at gunpoint, according to KSTP news. Tragically, the exchange never happened. Xiong’s body was later found at the bottom of a ravine, bearing stab wounds and injuries consistent with a significant fall.

Local authorities are currently investigating the case. The woman’s arrest has hopefully provided a lead, and Eh Xiong expressed optimism that those involved will be brought to justice. A toxicology report is also pending, which might shed further light on the circumstances surrounding Xiong’s death.

The incident has served as a stark reminder for American tourists visiting Colombia. Earlier this year, warnings were issued regarding scams targeting wealthy visitors in major cities. These schemes often involve drugging victims with scopolamine, a powerful substance that can render individuals incapacitated and susceptible to manipulation.

Beyond the immediate tragedy, Tou Ger Xiong’s death has deeply impacted his close-knit community in Woodbury, Minnesota. Born in Laos and raised alongside his extensive family, Xiong was known for his compassion and dedication to helping new immigrants adjust to life in the United States. Described by his brother as a champion for equality, Xiong used humor and laughter to break down barriers and connect with people. His comedic career stemmed from this desire to bring joy and understanding to others.

Eh Xiong spoke with immense pride about his brother’s accomplishments, highlighting the positive impact he had on countless individuals. In the wake of this devastating loss, the Xiong family is exploring the possibility of establishing a foundation in Tou Ger’s name. This effort would serve as a lasting tribute to his legacy of humor, activism, and community building.


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