As college students prepare to visit popular spring break destination sites, one man has a warning after he said he lost a friend in Mexico three decades ago.
"He had turned 21 on Mar. 5 and was kidnapped nine days later," Ryan Fenley said of his friend Mark Kilroy.
Fenley said what was supposed be an exciting vacation to South Padre Island turned into a horrific nightmare, after Kilroy went missing about 33 years ago during Spring Break in Matamoros, Mexico.
Fenley said he's lucky to be alive after canceling that trip.
“For me to change my mind and then look at what happened, yeah it shook me to death," he said.
"Mr. kilroy was not seen, he disappeared. Nobody had no traces of him, no leads, no suspects, nothing at all," Martin Sandoval, public information officer for the Brownsville Police Department, said.
It wasn't until a few weeks later that Nexican police discovered Kilroy's body, among others, on a ranch.
"That ranch was a killing spot, it was for brujeria; for voodoo," Sandoval said.
Kilroy was killed by cult members in a form of human sacrifice to offer drug smugglers protection from authorities.
His murder prompted Fenley to raise awareness during this time of the year.
"Whether you're traveling to Mexico, whether you're traveling to San Antonio, traveling to Hawaii, it's all about tourism safety and security. It's about people being safe," he said.
"It's everybody's responsibility,” Sandoval said. “You come down as a group, make sure you stay as a group and leave as a group. That's how we make sure everybody is safe this Spring Break.”