Mexico Launches Helicopter Search of Falcon Lake for David Hartley's Body

Search of Falcon Lake comes despite Mexican doubts over wife's tale of murder.

ByABC News
October 2, 2010, 4:58 PM

Oct. 6, 2010— -- Mexican authorities have launched a search using boats and helicopters for the body of an American who was allegedly killed by Mexican pirates on a lake bordering the two countries.

The Mexican promise of help in the search for the body of David Hartley came after Mexican law enforcement officials cast doubt on the story by Hartley's wife that he was killed by gunmen on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake which lies between the two countries.

It also came after Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked Mexican President Filipe Calderon to call him with assurances that Mexican authorities are searching for Hartley's body.

Perry said that he hopes to hear from Calderon "within the next 48 hours, that the body has been retrieved. If not, we're not looking hard enough."

The Mexican Foreign Relations Ministry today said the country "is committed to the investigation of those acts." It added that Mexican authorities have "stepped up their actions with the support of specialized personnel, boats and helicopters."

Hartley's widow Tiffany defended herself earlier today on "Good Morning America" against Mexican law enforcement officials who suggested they doubted her story that her husband was shot dead while they on Jet Skis on the Mexican side of the lake. Mexican police said there is no evidence of a crime as described by Tiffany Hartley.

"It's hard just to hear it," she told "Good Morning America." "But I can see it from their point of view. I can understand why they might think that, but it's not true. ... I would never even think about hurting my husband.

"I loved him," she said.

Hartley told police the pirates shot her husband in the head. The 30-year-old man's body has not been recovered.

U.S. officials said they're prohibited from entering Mexican waters to search for his body.

David Hartley's mother, Pam Hartley, has issued a public plea to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking for aid in bringing her son's body home.

"He needs to come home and we're begging the Mexican government, the governor of Texas, President Obama," the man's mother, Pam Hartley, told "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

"To Hillary -- mother to mother -- help me bring my son home, please," she said, crying. "She's a mother, she would know."

Dennis Hartley has said Mexican police aren't doing enough to find his son's body. On Tuesday he told The Associated Press that he believed the Mexican authorities were being paid off by drug cartels.