American Comedian Murdered in Colombia

( – A comedian and activist who was vacationing in Columbia was murdered after a group of men abducted and held him for ransom. Police are still trying to piece together the details, but the victim may have fallen for a deadly catfishing scheme.

Tou Ger Xiong, who was beloved among the Hmong community for his drive to give the ethnic group a voice through his work, was reportedly in the Columbian city of Medellín when he went missing. The 50-year-old activist was supposed to go on a date while he was there with a woman he’d met online. The decision may have cost him his life.

Xiong’s older brother told local news station KSTP that the victim had called him on December 10 asking for $2,000. The comedian also called his roommate and told them that he was being held captive “at gunpoint.” Xion’s brother contacted a friend in Columbia to file a police report, and he later got in touch with the US Embassy and two US senators’ offices in hopes of finding help.

Media outlets reported the devastating news on October 12 that Xiong had been murdered. He appeared to have been stabbed over a dozen times, and there was evidence he may have suffered head trauma before his death. His captors apparently tossed him over the side of a bridge either to finish him off or dispose of his remains. Police found his body in a ravine.

One suspect is in custody, but the woman Xiong had planned on meeting could also be involved. Investigators found a woman rummaging through his belongings when they went to search his apartment, but she fled the scene before they could take her into custody. Social media images also show Xiong dancing with a red-headed woman days before his death, according to The Mirror, which stated that the woman seemed to work hard to keep her face obscured from the camera.

Xiong’s family is working to start a foundation in his honor to help people in need with scholarships and other forms of assistance.

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