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Former Bush Foundation fellow kidnapped and murdered in Colombia after being lured by femme fatale, say police

The tragic killing follows several incidents in which Americans have been kidnapped in the South American country

 Minnesota comedian and former Bush Foundation fellow Tou Ger Xiong
Minnesota comedian and former Bush Foundation fellow Tou Ger Xiong | Tou Ger Xiong Facebook

December 15, 2023 11:17am

Updated: December 15, 2023 11:17am

A former Bush Foundation fellow turned comedian was lured, kidnapped and murdered in Colombia after being lured by an unidentified femme fatales, according to local police.

Tou Ger Xiong, known by many in the Twin Cities Hmong community as an activist, was photographed smiling with an unidentified redhead while having dinner at a Korean restaurant in Medellin on Oct. 20.

The Hmong people are an indigenous group from East and Southeast Asia. There is a large community of about 300,000 Hmong immigrants in the U.S.

“This is Korean food, with my girl,” the 50-year-old said in a Facebook video, showing off his dinner before panning to redhead who was smiling.

She also has a small, but distinctive tattoo reading “Never Give Up” on across her neck underneath her chin.

Servers at Korean told The New York Post they remembered seeing Xiong having dinner with the redhead stunner before he disappeared.

Police have said however, they have no evidence the redhead is involved in Xiong’s disappearance.

 What is known however is that Xiong returned to Medellin earlier this month from the United States after he boasted to friend that he was meeting a woman he was talking to online. 

Perhaps not coincidentally actually made a strange prediction on Facebook last year, while sitting beside two other women in a photo: “In the event I get kidnapped, don’t look for me. I am happy.”

Police have said nothing about who they believe is responsible for luring the comedian into a kidnap scenario, only that they arrested a female suspect after reviewing photos on Xiong’s mobile phone.

According to the Post, Xiong called his roommate at 7 p.m. local time on Dec. 10 and said a group of men had him at gunpoint in Colombia and had kidnapped him. 

The group has since demanded a $2,000 ransom for his release, according to El Colombiano.

The Colombian newspaper reported the ransom exchange never happened however, and Xiong was later discovered murdered in a ravine, stabbed with multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.

Xiong’s brother, Eh Xiong, 56, told The New York Post  his brother exchanged messages with a female several times and were planning on having a date.

“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 said of his brother’s fatal trip.

The brother also told the Minneapolis based StarTribune his brother was aware about the crime rate in Colombia and the risk of abduction.  

ADN has reported on several Americans being kidnapped along the Colombian and Venezuelan border, including Los Angeles public defender Eyvin Hernandez who was hooded and kidnapped by a Venezuelan paramilitary group.

The Los Angeles attorney was reportedly on vacation in Colombia to beach hop to different resort destinations with a group of friends. When one of his Venezuelan friends said she needed to go to a town on the Colombia-Venezuela border to have her passport stamped, he accompanied her to Cúcuta.

Cúcuta is a small Colombian municipality in the department (state or province) of Norte de Santander.

He is now being used as a pawn in a potential prisoner exchange by the Maduro regime in what many suspect is an effort to help strip U.S. sanctions or obtain other concessions.

Tou Ger Xiong’s brother says he was aware in the spike in Colombian kidnappings.

“He was aware of it, but he’s one of those people who only assumes the best in people,” he said. “It’s almost like a second home, he loved it there.”

Still, the comedian, who was born in Laos in 1973, enjoyed frequenting the South American country and had developed friendships and a second life there, he said.

According to the Bush Foundation, Xiong “shared his personal stories across the country to build cultural competency and address racial discrimination,” in 2019 when he was named a fellow.

His hometown of Woodbury, Minnesota has been mourning his loss and his family is making efforts to communicate and cooperate with Colombian law enforcement agents.

Xiong became popular in the Hmong community because of his savvy comedy and his bold comments about culture and race, his brother told The Post.