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Missing American man found bound and blindfolded in Mexican jungle south of Cancun

Bacalar, Q.R. — A New York man who was reported missing was found bound in Mexican jungle. A missing person’s report for the American man was released by state officials on February 4 in the Mayan town of Limones in the municipality of Bacalar, about 350 kilometers (217 miles) south of Cancun.

Military personnel located him in the next-over municipality after an area resident reported suspicious activity.

On February 6, two days after the man went missing, military personnel at a citizen security post along the Noh-Bec-Petcacab highway received citizen information about the presence of a Tulum taxi with three armed men on board entering a jungle area.

State officials issued a missing persons report February 4.

The military men entered the area on foot approximately one kilometer from their post where, about 100 meters in, they found the missing American bound and blindfolded sitting under an old structure.

The military found Joseph Buonincontri bound and blindfolded sitting under an old structure.
Photo: Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional February 6, 2024.

The man has been identified as 35-year-old Joseph Buonincontri from New York. It was only late this week that authorities released information regarding his discovery.

Next to him was his wallet, which contained official identification and gear that included a tactical vest and R-15 holsters left behind by his kidnappers. Military personnel who found Mr. Buonincontri identified themselves as members of the Army, providing him with medical first aid.

On the night of February 6, the State Attorney General reported in a briefing, “the FGE Quintana Roo reports that in coordination with Guardia Naction Mexico, SEDENA Mexico and SSC QROO, it located a male person of foreign nationality, reported missing in the town of Limones, municipality of Bacalar.

“After the implementation of a search and rescue operation, the person was located in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. After his location, the corresponding investigations are carried out to clarify the facts.”

Mr. Buonincontri was provided with first aid while they waited for official authorities to arrive.
Photo: Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional February 6, 2024.

Mr. Buonincontri was not found with any serious injuries. He had been kidnapped from his home in the town of Limones and his family called for $200,000 in ransom. Police have not announced any suspects in the kidnapping.