4 Charged In American Comedian’s Abduction And Murder In Colombia

(NEW YORK POST) – Three adults and a teenager have been arrested and charged in the kidnapping and murder of an Asian-American comedian and activist in Colombia last month.

The suspects in Tou Ger Xiong’s death were charged with aggravated kidnapping for extortion and aggravated homicide in the Medellín Section of the country, according to the local El Colombiano newspaper.

Xiong, who went out to meet a woman he met on social media prior to his abduction on Dec. 10, was the victim of a horrific trend in the South American country, where criminals lure people to meet in public before taking them and holding them for ransom.

The three adults charged in the disturbing crime have been identified as Sharit Gisela Mejía Martínez, Santiago Bustamante Londoño and Andrés Hincapié Obregón,

All three denied the charges at a recent hearing, the Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

A 17-year-old had given himself up to the Prosecutor’s office in the Medellín region after the crime, admitting he participated in the events surrounding Xiong’s kidnapping and murder, according to the local El Colombiano newspaper.

The teen was transferred to a special detention center for minors.

The three adults were arrested on Jan. 16 and charged with aggravated kidnapping for extortion and aggravated homicide.

They have denied the charges.

Judicial proceedings this week revealed several phones and a vehicle related to the case had been seized by investigators, according to the paper.

Xiong, who lived in Minnesota and frequently flew down to Colombia, had traveled to the South American country on Nov. 29, where he planned to spend the holiday season.

The woman Xiong was supposed to meet on Dec. 10 was said to be a part of a new group of friends he made during recent visits to the area, his brother, Eh Xiong, told The Post last month.

On the night he was kidnapped, Xiong was reportedly held against his will inside an apartment in Robledo.

His captors had tied him up, stripped him of his credit cards, cell phone and wallet.

Xiong had made a phone call around 7 p.m. that night to another friend of his in Colombia saying he was being held at gunpoint and they were demanding $2,000 (8 million Colombian pesos) ransom for his release.

But despite Xiong’s family in the US quickly making a payment of $3,140 to a woman’s account, the comedian was killed, and his body was dumped in the La Corcovado ravine with over a dozen stab wounds and blunt force injuries.

The woman Xiong was talking to online was arrested prior to the discovery of his body.

Xiong linked his ancestry to the Hmong people, an indigenous group from East and Southeast Asia and was the valedictorian at Humboldt High School.

He was born in Laos in 1973, while his father was working with the CIA, before fleeing to a refugee camp in Thailand to escape the Laos communist takeover in 1975.

The family eventually emigrated to St. Paul in 1992.

The comedian would “share his personal stories across the country to build cultural competency and address racial discrimination,” the Bush Foundation said in 2019 when Xiong was named a fellow there.

A three-day memorial service, which is customary in Hmong culture, is scheduled for the activist at the end of the month, beginning with a eulogy by his sister on Jan. 27 and ending two days later with a private burial.