Tou Ger Xiong: US comedian kidnapped, murdered in Colombia by woman who allegedly lured him

American comedian and activist Tou Ger Xiong — found dead in a suspected kidnapping-turned-murder case in Colombia — knew the woman who lured him into a trap, his brother told the NY Post.

Xiong, 50, an Asian-American living in Minnesota, frequently visited Colombia. There he met the woman now under arrest for allegedly luring him into a kidnapping plot, which ended with the comedian’s body in a ravine with more than a dozen stab wounds.

“He had been in contact with this woman before, and she was part of the ‘new friends’ he made on his trips down there,” brother Eh Xiong, 56, told The Post.

Eh said Xiong had multiple photos of the woman, who has yet to be publicly identified, and her friends on his phone.

The photos, along with the testimony of his brother’s roommate — who had seen the suspect before — made it easy for police to track down the suspect and take her into custody.

Eh feared the suspect was likely trying to win her brother’s trust whenever he visited Colombia before he ultimately disappeared on December 10.

“That day was not the first time they met,” the grieving older brother said. “It’s hard to think about, but maybe he let his guard down because he thought he knew her.”

Eh and another friend would go on to receive calls from Xiong and the kidnappers requesting $US2000 for the comedian’s safe release. Xiong also told his friend, who filed the police report, that he was being “held at gunpoint”, according to KSTP.

However, the exchange never took place, with Xiong’s body eventually found in the La Corcovado ravine with stab wounds and multiple bruises caused by an apparent fall of over 60 feet (18 metres), according to the local El Colombiano newspaper.

Eh said police were able to locate his brother’s body following the woman’s arrest, so he was hopeful investigators will be able to bring the other people involved to justice.

He added the family is still awaiting a toxicology report. US tourists were warned earlier this year about schemes in large Colombian cities where kidnappers drug wealthy visitors with sedatives known as scopolamine — an odourless, tasteless, memory-blocking substance that puts the victim in a trancelike state.

Eh said it was devastating to learn what happened to his younger brother, with their Woodbury, Minnesota, community also in mourning over the death of the local advocate.

Born in Laos in 1973 to a family with seven brothers and four sisters, Xiong grew up with a strong sense of compassion, which he channelled into helping fellow immigrants assimilate and find opportunities in Minnesota.

Eh described his brother, a political science major, as a champion for equality who would combat racism and help anyone he met find joy and laughter.

He said that was one of the reasons why Xiong became a comedian, because he was always quick to use his wit and humour to defuse tense situations.

“I always thought of him as my funny little brother, but now that he’s gone, I’ve been able to step back and see just how much he’s accomplished and what he means to our community,” Eh said. “He’s inspired so many people and touched so many lives.”

Eh added the Xiong family was working to set up a foundation in his brother’s name in order to carry on his work and help others.

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission

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