American Kidnapped in Mexico, Left To Die in Jungle With Eyes, Wrists Taped

A New York man with a home in Mexico was abducted and held for ransom, but the kidnappers fled when Mexican Army and National Guard went searching for him

A New York man living in Mexico is lucky to be alive after several men abducted him and held him for a $200,000 ransom.

The kidnappers taped Joseph Constantine Buonincontri’s eyes shut and bound him by his wrists and ankles, and left him deep in a jungle in Limones, Mexico, a remote area about 200 miles southwest of Cancun.

Locals tipped off the police about armed men driving a taxi from Tulum, a popular resort area, into the secluded wilderness, which sparked a rescue mission by the Mexican military and the Mexican National Guard.

The 35-year-old New Yorker was alive, but tied up in a straw hut, according to the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office, which said authorities recovered a backpack with marijuana, a tactical vest and loaded magazines for an AR-15.

The kidnappers have not been identified or caught since Buonincontri was found on Feb. 4 and was unharmed, according to local Mexican news outlets and the prosecutor’s office.

A 1.5-minute video of the rescue published on showed the moment authorities found Buonincontri. The website translated the conversation.

A soldier asked twice if he was OK and if he was hungry or thirsty.

Buonincontri reportedly responded by asking for a cigarette and to take the tape off his eyes.

“We’ve already called the authorities. Agents from the Public Prosecutors Office and the Attorney General’s Office are going to arrive and remove that blindfold from your eyes,” the soldier reportedly said, according to the translation by

“But are you OK? We’re soldiers from the Mexican Army. We belong to the 7th Motorized Cavalry Regiment. And we’ve come here to give you aid.”

During the conversation, Buonincontri reportedly told the soldiers that he was from New York and visiting a family member in Limones.

The soldier asked him if he remembered what happened and when he was kidnapped.

“No, I can’t recall the day,” Buonincontri reportedly said, according to’s translation. “I don’t even know what day this is.”

That was where the video ends.

The Fiscalía General del Estado de Quintana Roo, the local prosecutor’s office, released a statement on X saying he was found alive and thanked the Mexican Army, National Guard and local police.