A Facebook page dedicated to the search for a missing Mooresville, North Carolina, teacher announced that Patrick Braxton-Andrew died on Oct. 28 at the hands of a criminal organization while traveling in Mexico.
Chihuahua officials and Braxton-Andrew's family desperately searched for the missing backpacker for weeks. The family thanked the Chihuahua governor and attorney general for their "unwavering commitment to locating Patrick."
Braxton-Andrew's brother, Kerry, said the 34-year-old was last seen by a hotel employee in Urique, a remote town in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.
The state government said in a statement Monday that searchers checked cabins in the area surrounding the village of Urique and rappelled down into 900-foot-deep ravines looking for Braxton-Andrew.
Urique is a former mining village at the base of one of the many canyons that make up Mexico's Copper Canyon National Park.
The family said the search for Braxton-Andrew's body will continue so he can return home.
The family said in a statement:
Patrick died doing what he loved —traveling and meeting people. Join us in celebrating his life as he would want us to do. We will always remember Patrick and his joy for life. We love you PBA."