Comedian Abducted and Murdered During Vacation in Colombia

( – Comedian and activist Tou Ger Xiong, 50, was kidnapped and killed while on vacation in Colombia.

On Nov. 29, Xiong arrived in Medellin, Colombia, where he planned to spend the holidays. On Dec. 10, he made plans to meet a woman he had met on social media. Xiong was ambushed and kidnapped by a group of men not long after Xiong met the woman. A group of men holding him hostage immediately contacted his family and friends, demanding $2,000. According to the local paper, his family immediately contacted authorities in an attempt to rescue Xiong.

However, Xiong was murdered before authorities could rescue him. According to police, his body was found Dec. 11 in the La Corcovado ravine. He had blunt force trauma, multiple stab wounds and multiple bruises that may have occurred during the 60-foot fall into the ravine.

Police also found a woman removing items from his room when they went to his apartment. However, the woman ran off when police attempted to question her. Police are investigating whether an attempted escape by Xiong led to his murder.

Born in Laos, Xiong lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before moving to St. Paul, Minnesota, as a child with his family. A Laotian-American comedian, activist and entertainer, he was well-known in the Twin Cities Hmong community and created “Hmong Minnesota Day” at the Minnesota State Fair.

His brother, Eh Xiong, stated that the family is working closely with law enforcement to seek justice for the “heinous crime.” In a statement, he said, “The pain of his loss is indescribable.” Former Minnesota state Sen. Mee Moua remembered Xiong as a “one-of-a-kind, modern-day hero.”

His family said they are starting a foundation in his name.

The National Police reported an increase in kidnappings in the area of 88 percent. Xiong is the 27th tourist to be found dead in the Aburrá Valley, according to the Colombian newspaper El Colombiano.

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