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Minnesota comic killed in Colombia after date with woman he met online

Minnesota comic killed in Colombia after date with woman he met online

A beloved Minnesota comic and activist was brutally killed in Colombia after he reportedly went on a date with a woman he met online.

Authorities in the South American country notified loved ones of 50-year-old Tou Ger Xiong about the tragic developments in what had initially been a kidnapping investigation after his body was found in the city of Medellin.

Investigators told local news outlet El Colombiano that Xiong sustained more than a dozen stab wounds and severe trauma to his body from a 59ft fall. His family only learned of his death on Tuesday morning after his body was identified thanks to the clothes he was wearing.

Xiong arrived in Medellin on 29 November and had been posting snippets of his trip on social media. On Facebook, he shared a video seemingly recorded at a Karol G concert, as well as another video of himself enjoying a sunny pool day and listening to upbeat music.

The events that led to Xiong’s death began on Sunday night after he met with a woman he had first interacted with on social media. A spokesperson with the local attorney’s office told El Colombiano that after spending some time with the woman, Xiong was kidnapped by several men.

Xiong’s brother Eh Xiong told Kare11 that he received a call over the weekend from his slain brother asking for $20,000.

Days before his death, Tou Ger Xiong had shared a video of himself enjoying a sunny pool day and listening to upbeat music (Tou Ger Xiong/Facebook)
Days before his death, Tou Ger Xiong had shared a video of himself enjoying a sunny pool day and listening to upbeat music (Tou Ger Xiong/Facebook)

Eh Xiong said he didn’t find the request unusual as his brother often borrowed money from him while on vacation, but he couldn’t send the money right away because he was about to catch a flight.

“This time he’s like, ‘Do you have a couple thousand?’ And I’m like, ‘Yah, no problem,’” Mr Xiong told the outlet. “I said, ‘When you do you want it?’ And he said, ‘I want it now because I’m in a bit of a situation here.’”

Mr Xiong did not hear from his brother the next day.

Acquaintances of Xiong in Medellin alerted authorities that he had been kidnapped and a missing persons investigation began.

However, Xiong’s lifeless body was found on Monday and the remains were later positively identified.

Around 4.40pm that same day, a woman allegedly broke inside the apartment where Xiong had been staying and stole several belongings. Law enforcement arrived at the apartment shortly after the robbery took place but the woman had already fled the scene, the spokesperson for the AG’s office said.

Xiong was a refugee from Laos who worked in comedy and as an activist. He was remembered as a local leader who worked to “uplift his community.”

US Senator Tina Smith said she had been in touch with the Department of Justice and was actively working to ensure that Xiong’s remains were transported to Minnesota once the investigation in Colombia allowed.

“In honor of our brother Tou Ger, who has dedicated his life to building bridges across cultures, to giving voice for those who may not have one, and to working toward justice for all, we will be creating a non-profit foundation in his name,” Eh Xiong said in a statement o Tuesday. “We believe that channelling our grief into supporting a cause dear to Tou Ger would be a fitting tribute to his legacy.”

Xiong’s family is in touch with Colombian authorities.

The Independent has reached out to the FBI and the Department of Justice.