This story was updated at 8 a.m. Monday, November 19.
The body of Patrick Braxton-Andrew, who went missing in northern Mexico at the end of October, has been recovered, according to a Facebook page maintained by friends and family during the search.
Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral Jurado said in a Facebook post that Braxton-Andrew was killed by drug dealer Jose Noriel Porfilo Gil, also known as “The Crooked.”
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Braxton-Andrew’s body was found on a beach in the town of Urique, according to Corral’s Facebook post. Corral’s post does not make clear if investigators believe Gil himself killed the teacher or if they suspect one of the drug dealer’s associates.
Braxton-Andrew, 34, graduated from Davidson College and taught Spanish at the private Woodlawn School in Mooresville. The school canceled classes and athletic practices Friday “out of respect and remembrance for Patrick,” said a school Facebook post.
His family said the body’s recovery gave them “a sense of relief,” according to the Facebook post. Last week, his parents told the Observer they wanted to stay in Mexico until his body was found.
Investigators have not said why he was targeted, but they say it had nothing to do with an attempt to purchase marijuana or any other drugs, said Corral’s post.
“Under the progress in the investigation, I can say that it was a cowardly and brutal murder, of a totally innocent person, a clean man whose misfortune was to cross his walk with this criminal,” said Corral’s post.
Braxton-Andrew’s body back to North Carolina, where they’ll hold a “celebration of life,” they told the Observer.
“We are very, very proud of Patrick, and of the way he lived. He did what he wanted to do. He followed his path,” his mother, Jean Braxton, said last week.