PENITAS, TX – Two sisters from Texas and their girlfriend are missing in Mexico after they crossed the border last month to sell clothes at a flea market, US authorities said Friday.

The abduction of four Americans in Mexico that was captured on video last week attracted an avalanche of attention and was solved within days. But the fate of the three women, who have not been heard from for about two weeks, remains a mystery and has received relatively little publicity.

SEE ALSO | 5 more arrested after deadly kidnapping in Mexico, while questions continue to swirl around the case

The FBI said Friday that it is aware that two sisters from PeƱitas, a small Texas border town near McAllen, and their friend are missing. Penitas Police Chief Roel Bermeo said their families have contacted Mexican authorities, who are investigating their disappearance.

Additionally, officials in the U.S. and Mexico have not said much about what they are looking for Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47; Marina Perez Rios, 48; and their friend Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53.

The episode stands in stark contrast to the government and media frenzy surrounding the kidnapping of four Americans on a trip to Mexico for plastic surgery. They were caught in a shootout with drug cartels in the border city of Matamoras, and video showed them being taken away in a pickup truck. Two survivors were found Tuesday in a log cabin off the Gulf Coast.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the three women crossed into Mexico on Feb. 24, Friday, according to Bermeo. Penitas is only a few hundred feet from the Rio Grande River.

The husband of one of the women spoke to her on the phone while she was traveling in Mexico, the police chief said, but became concerned when he was unable to contact her afterward.

“Because he couldn’t get through that weekend, he came in that Monday and let us know,” Bermea said. The three women have not been heard from since.

Bermeo said the women were driving a mid-1990s green Chevy Silverado to a flea market in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon state. It’s about a three-hour drive from the border. Officials at the state prosecutor’s office said the investigation into the women’s disappearance has been ongoing since Monday.

SEE ALSO | Is it safe to travel in Mexico after the kidnapping of four Americans? 6 states under “no travel” advisory.

Squads of Mexican soldiers and National Guard troops have been involved in a massive search for four kidnapped Americans this week. But for most of the 112,000 Mexicans missing across the country, only their desperate relatives are looking for them.

The authorities also lack manpower, equipment and training – things are so bad that the authorities are not even able to identify the tens of thousands of bodies that have been found.

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