A prominent Minnesota comedian and activist, Tou Ger Xiong, met a tragic end during his vacation in Colombia, as reported by his family. The 50-year-old, well-known for his activism in the Twin Cities Hmong community, was reportedly kidnapped in Medellín after a date with a woman he met on social media, according to local officials cited by Colombian newspaper El Colombiano.
In a statement, Xiong’s family expressed immense sadness over the discovery of his body, revealing that he had become the victim of a kidnapping and murder. The family thanked the community for its support during this challenging period and pledged cooperation with law enforcement agencies investigating the crime.
Eh Xiong, Tou Ger’s brother, shared that he received a call from his brother on Sunday, requesting $2,000 that the alleged kidnappers demanded as ransom. It remains unclear whether the ransom was ever paid. El Colombiano reported that Xiong was found in a ravine with stab wounds and blunt force trauma, adding that he had been in the country since Nov. 29, told KSTP.
Born in Laos, Tou Ger Xiong lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before relocating to St. Paul with his family as a child, as reported by Sahan Journal. A week before his death, Xiong attended a Karol G concert in Medellín, as indicated on his Facebook, which boasts over 19,000 followers.
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum expressed her condolences, describing the news as devastating. She highlighted Xiong’s impact as a comedian and activist, touching many lives in the Twin Cities and beyond.
The Xiong family announced plans to establish a foundation in Tou Ger Xiong’s name, acknowledging the cherished role he played in their lives and expressing gratitude for the outpouring of condolences, thoughts, and prayers.