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Missing American's wife pleads for husband's body

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Tiffany Hartley: 'Want my husband back'
  • Tiffany Hartley says she finished interviews with Mexican authorities
  • "Just help me bring my husband home," she pleas
  • Texas congressman says Mexican authorities will not resume search

(CNN) -- The wife of an American reportedly shot dead by gunmen in Mexico pleaded for help in finding her husband and said she hoped a search would resume Tuesday.

"I plea to the people who did this. To anybody who knows who did this," Tiffany Hartley said on CNN's "AC 360" Monday night. "Just give me my husband back. I want to take him home and honor him. And I am sure somebody out there knows. Just help me bring my husband home."

Earlier in the day, Hartley said she finished a series of interviews with federal and state authorities in Mexico.

She said she told authorities a detailed account of what happened on September 30, from the time she and her husband David left their McAllen, Texas, home until she left a sheriff's office that night.

The interviews conducted Friday and Monday took longer than eight hours, Hartley said.

Hartley recounted the incident Monday, saying she and her husband headed to Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, to "enjoy a day on the lake." The two decided to ride their personal watercraft to the Mexican side of the lake to see a historical church there, she said.

Video: Mistaken ID in Falcon Lake shooting?
Video: Intel Firm: Lake killing was mistaken ID

But she said the couple was confronted by three boats, and gunmen -- believed linked to a Mexican drug gang -- began firing shots at them when they tried to flee the area. She said she saw her husband shot, and attempted to pull him on board her watercraft.

David Hartley's body has not been found, despite extensive searches by both U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Mexican authorities say they have suspended the search. That announcement came last week after the lead Mexican investigator in the case was beheaded. It was earlier reported that the officer's head was delivered to authorities in a suitcase but a U.S. State Department official said Monday the head was found on a road near the lake.

"Mexican authorities told the U.S. Consulate that the suspension of the search was only temporary and would continue at a later date," said Brian Quigley, a spokesman for the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico. "We are going to hold them to that."

Hartley said Monday night that she hopes the search will continue.

"I don't know when they are going to pick up the search. But I pray that they do pick up the search again," Hartley said.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said he wonders if the search will ever be resumed by Mexican authorities.

"Solving this case and looking for David is looking pretty bleak at this point," Poe said.

Poe said he wants the U.S. government to take a greater role in the search.

CNN's Eric Fiegel contributed to this report.

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