The wife and mother of an American allegedly shot to death by Mexican pirates on a border lake in Texas are angrily demanding that Mexican authorities allow U.S. investigators to join the search for a body -- and stop questioning whether the attack ever happened.
Search teams scouring the U.S. side of Falcon Lake have turned up no sign of David Michael Hartley, 30, five days after his wife said he was shot in the head by Mexican bandits marauding on the U.S.-Mexican border lake.
Tiffany Hartley, 29, accused Mexican authorities Tuesday of "not looking" for her husband's body and called on President Obama to pressure the Mexican government into allowing U.S. authorities to search the Mexican side of the lake.
In an interview with Fox News, Hartley said she and her husband set out on the lake on Jet Skis to take pictures of a half-submerged Catholic church when they spotted three boats approaching them.
Hartley said her husband was shot in the back of the head, "as far as I know," and that she was unable to pull him on to her Jet Ski.
"I tried pulling him up but before that a boat had approached me with a gun -- had pointed the gun at me -- and then they left and that's when I tried pulling him up on my ski," she said.
Hartley told a dispatcher in her 911 call that she was forced to leave her husband behind because pirates in three boats were firing shots and chasing her.
Hartley was then helped on shore by an unidentified man who reportedly witnessed the boats chasing her as she made her way back into U.S. waters.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday that Hartley was believed to be killed, but nearly five days after the shooting, there was still no word whether the oil industry worker had been found.
Hartley denied any suggestions from Mexican authorities that her account was not truthful, saying, "I loved him and there’s no way I would do anything like that."
Her mother-in-law, Pam Hartley, also defended her innocence, telling Fox News that "there is no way that Tiffany had any involvement other than trying to get away."
"They couldn't have loved each other more," she said of the couple.
Pam Hartley said her son "gave his life" to protect his wife. She also suggested that the pirates took Hartley's body and Jet Ski to hide any evidence.
Hartley went on to make a personal plea to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to intervene in the case by sending U.S. authorities to search the Mexican side of the lake for her son's body.
"Hillary Clinton, she's a mother. She can understand," she said.
Mexican authorities investigating the alleged shooting reportedly say they have not yet found any evidence of the crime.
Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, the local Tamaulipas State Police commander in charge of the search for Hartley, told The Monitor newspaper that his investigators so far have found no evidence or Hartley's remains.
Investigators told the newspaper they were using two sets of GPS coordinates supplied by Young-Hartley to U.S. consular officials, but that their search of the lake at least a mile around each coordinate turned up nothing.
Marco Antonio Guerrero Carrizales, the district attorney in Miguel Aleman whose area also covers the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, told the newspaper that they can't figure out why neither Hartley’s watercraft nor his body — investigators were told he was wearing a life vest — have been found.
Officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) told FoxNews.com that Hartley's alleged death marked the fifth incident since April 30 in which U.S. residents ventured into Mexican waters and encountered pirates on the 60-miles-long Falcon Lake.
Prior to last week, the most recent occurred on Aug. 31, when authorities say pirates aboard a small boat with "Game Wardin" written on its side, in duct-tape lettering, tried to intercept a Texas fisherman. The fisherman, aware of warnings about pirates on the lake and recognizing the misspelling of the word "warden," managed to outrun the Mexican vessel to safety, officials said.
On May 16, five armed men boarded a boat on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake. Investigators have no additional information in that incident. Only 10 days earlier, two armed men approached a boat on the lake's northern side and demanded money, which the fisherman handed over, DPS officials say.
FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report