The father-in-law and brother-in-law of former Miss USA Ali Landry were found dead in Veracruz, Mexico, on Saturday, roughly two weeks after they were kidnapped from their home in nearby Tamaulipas.
Juan Manuel Gémez Fernéndez and his son, Juan Manuel Gémez Monteverde, each had sustained traumatic brain injuries and had been dead for several days when they were discovered in a rural area known as El Chachalaco, in the municipality of Pueblo Viejo in northern Veracruz on Saturday, Veracruz state prosecutor Luis Angel Bravo Contreras tells PEOPLE in a written statement.
Family members have positively identified the victims as the father and brother of filmmaker Alejandro Gémez Monteverde, Landry’s husband and the acclaimed director of Little Boy, the statement confirms.
Fernéndez and Monteverde were kidnapped on Sept. 4 after leaving their home in Tampico, Tamaulipas, a dangerous area known for gang activity, the Latin Times reports. A report of their disappearance had previously been filed with Mexico’s federal special prosecutor for organized crime investigations, SEIDO, in Mexico City.
The Latin Times also states that Monteverde’s brother, Juan Manuel, was part owner of a restaurant in Tampico that had allegedly reported cartel dealings in the past.
Televisa news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola reports that a ransom was paid for the victim’s release, but the kidnappers refused to set them free.
The Veracruz Attorney General’s Office said in their statement that they are working with authorities in Tamaulipas to investigate the deaths. Police are currently doing forensic testing on a car they suspect was used by the kidnappers.
Landry, who was crowned Miss USA in 1996, rose to fame as the Doritos Girl from her 1998 Super Bowl ad. Following a brief marriage to Mario Lopez which she annulled after two weeks in 2004, Landry married Monteverde in 2006. They have three children: Estela Inez, 8, Marcelo Alejandro, 3, and Valentin Francesco, 2.
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