Nancy Davis Told Friends She 'Might Not Come Back Alive' From Mexico

Friend of American missionaries said "they had been chased many, many times."

ByABC News
January 27, 2011, 4:17 PM

Jan. 27, 2011 — -- Nancy Davis, the American missionary killed in Mexico by what police suspect were drug thugs, told friends when she last saw them over dinner this fall that she "might not come back alive" from her next visit to Mexico.

Nancy and her husband Sam Davis, both Christian missionaries, were aware of the escalating drug violence in Mexico and had been chased by gunmen on previous occasions. But they kept going back.

"Every day that passed they had personal friends, people in Mexico that they were acquainted with who were dying. It was all around them. They were constantly getting threats. Many, many times they had been chased and managed to elude danger," Jennifer Christner, a friend of the couple, said.

Christner and her husband, the pastor of the Christian Chapel Church that Nancy Davis grew up in and the couple visited each year, said that the couple discussed the dangers of living in Mexico over dinner in November of last year.

"They knew that when they left, we might not see them alive again," Christner said. "They said, 'We know when we go back in, we might not come back alive and if that's the case, know that we died doing what we were supposed to do.'"

Nancy Davis told Christner, "If I don't see you here, I'll see you in heaven."

Nancy and Sam Davis were riding along a highway 70 miles south of the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, on Wednesday when they approached an illegal roadblock. Rather than stop, they continued driving and were chased by several gunmen in a black pick-up truck, according Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas.

Rather than stop, Sam Davis gunned the engine of their blue 2008 Chevrolet pick-up, a vehicle popular with the dangerous Zetas drug cartel that controls the area. The pursuing gunmen fired at Davis' truck, and a bullet hit Nancy Davis in the head.

Her husband raced the 70 miles to the Pharr International Bridge, speeding the last part of the way against on-coming traffic to avoid the long lines of northbound cars at the border checkpoint, arriving at 12:25 p.m., according to police reports.

Nancy Davis was rushed to a hospital in the border city of McAllen, Texas, but she was declared dead at 1:54 p.m.