Two American minors went missing in Mexico on Friday following the recent deadly kidnapping of four U.S. citizens south of the border.
The siblings – a 9-year-old boy named Hugo Yarset Monfort Luna and his older sister, 16-year-old Aranza Yosemiti Monfort Luna – were last seen Friday leaving a home in the Mexican border state of Nuevo León, Fox News reported.
The state prosecutor’s office issued an alert saying that “because of the circumstances of their disappearance, age and the time passed, the missing minors could find themselves in imminent danger” and posted their pictures on Twitter.
Hugo and Aranza are Americans by nationality, but it is not clear whether they live in the U.S. or Mexico, according to Fox.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News on Tuesday it is “aware of reports of two missing U.S. citizens in Mexico” but could not comment further “due to privacy concerns.”
The siblings went missing in the Real de San Felipe neighborhood of García, a municipality near the center of Nuevo León.
The State Department advises Americans to take “increased caution” when traveling to Nuevo León due to the risk of crime and kidnapping, adding that “criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.”
The pair went missing on Friday, exactly two weeks after four Americans were violently kidnapped shortly after crossing the border from Brownsville, Texas. Two of the Americans died, and two were returned alive days later by the Gulf cartel, which issued an apology letter and surrendered five members to law enforcement.
That incident prompted a national outcry over the threat of Mexican drug cartels just ahead of the spring break season. More than 550 Americans are reported to be missing in Mexico, according to the Washington Post.
The FBI also recently announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the location of Maria del Carmen Lopez, a 63-year-old U.S. citizen who was last seen Feb. 9 being forcibly taken into a white van outside her home in the Mexican state of Colima.