A research firm says an American man reportedly shot to death on a Mexican border lake may have been a victim of mistaken identity.
Texas-based Stratfor says members of a local drug cartel believed David Hartley and his wife Tiffany were spies for a rival drug gang when they entered the Mexican side of Falcon Lake.
Tiffany Hartley told authorities that men she believed were pirates shot her husband in the head when they were attacked while riding jet skis on Falcon Lake late last month. She says tried to help her husband, but was forced to escape because the pirates were chasing her. David Hartley's body has not been found.
The case took a gruesome turn earlier this week after a Mexican police commander investigating the reported shooting was beheaded.
U.S. and Mexican authorities say the severed head of investigator Rolando Flores Villegas was placed in a suitcase and dumped Tuesday near a Mexican army post in Aleman, Mexico.
Drug cartels in Mexico have used beheadings in the past to threaten Mexican law enforcement.
In a televised interview Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. government is doing all it can to help find David Hartley's body.
Mexican officials say their efforts to search for the body have been restricted because the area is controlled by criminals linked to drug cartels.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.