Who Was Tou Ger Xiong? American Comedian and Activist Kidnapped and Killed after Traveling to Colombia to Meet Woman He Met Online

Xiong's brother said that one of the suspected kidnappers had already been arrested by authorities.

A comedian and activist from the United States was kidnapped and fatally stabbed more than a dozen times by a group of men after going on a date with a woman he met online while vacationing in Colombia. Tou Ger Xiong, a 50-year-old Asian-American living in Minnesota, was tragically killed while on vacation in the South American country.

Xiong traveled to Medellin, Colombia, on November 29, and planned to spend the holidays in the country, as informed by his close ones. On a Sunday, he arranged to go out with a woman he had recently met online, but during the date, he was unexpectedly ambushed by a group of men.

Kidnapped and Killed While on Vacation

Tou Ger Xiong
Tou Ger Xiong X

Around 7 p.m. local time, the comedian contacted a friend in Colombia, revealing that the men demanded $2,000 (8 million Colombian Pesos) in cash for his release, local newspaper El Colombiano reported.

Xiong also told his friend, who filed the police report, that he was being "held at gunpoint," as reported by KSTP.

Tou Ger Xiong
Tou Ger Xiong X

Several hours before the incident, the police had been at the apartment where Xiong was staying because a woman was seen taking items from the residence. However, she fled before the police could arrest her, according to officials cited by the outlet.

Xiong's lifeless body was found in the La Corcovado ravine, bearing over a dozen stab wounds and multiple bruises, caused by a fall from a height of over 60 feet, as reported by El Colombiano.

Local law enforcement confirmed that the suspects killed Xiong before receiving any payment, prompting an investigation to determine whether Xiong's death resulted from an attempted escape.

Investigation Launched, Arrest Made

Xiong's brother said that one of the suspected kidnappers had already been arrested by authorities. "They found some clothes, blood, you know, on the bag, and they were able to confiscate that and apprehend one of the suspects," Eh Xiong told KSTP.

Tou Ger Xiong
Tou Ger Xiong X

Eh Xiong said that he hasn't fully come to terms with the reality of his brother's death. "It's kind of funny how I don't even feel like he's really gone yet. Right? I feel like at any moment now he could be knocking on the door," he said.

Xiong traced his ancestry to the Hmong people, an indigenous group from East and Southeast Asia, and was the valedictorian at Humboldt High School.

Born in Laos in 1973, he suffered displacement when his father, working with the CIA, fled to a refugee camp in Thailand to escape the communist takeover in Laos in 1975.

Xiong subsequently immigrated to St. Paul in 1992, as mentioned on his website.

Tou Ger Xiong
Tou Ger Xiong X

Xiong would often "share his personal stories across the country to build cultural competency and address racial discrimination," the Bush Foundation said when Xiong was named a 2019 fellow.

"This is a heartbreaking tragedy. Tou Ger was an incredible person who was constantly working to uplift his community," US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) said in a statement to KSTP.

"My office is in contact with Tou Ger's family and the embassy in Colombia as they work to bring his body back to Minnesota. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time."