Source AP ©

Indiana gets body of Sergio Gomez

The body of a popular musician killed during entertainment-related violence in Mexico was being returned Thursday to Indiana.

Sergio Gomez, 35, was killed last weekend after performing with his top-selling group, K-Paz de la Sierra, in Morelia, Mexico.

Gomez enjoyed regular airplay on Indianapolis-based Spanish-language radio station WEDJ-FM (107.1).

"He was very popular," said Russ Dodge, general manager of WEDJ. "We're all sick about it."

His music was fashionable in cities from Chicago, where K-Paz made its first recordings, to Morelia, the capital of Mexico's western state of Michoacan. Five of the band's albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard magazine's Latin music chart.

Gomez lived in Avon, just west of Indianapolis. His body will be cremated after visitation Sunday afternoon, said Sarah Arnold, funeral director at Stevens Mortuary in Indianapolis.

Hundreds of people mourned Gomez on Tuesday in his hometown of Ciudad Hidalgo in Michoacan. About 200 more also gathered in Mexico City, where Gomez's body was transported Tuesday night.

Gomez went missing Sunday after getting into a car with three other people after a concert in Morelia and heading for Puerto Vallarta, His body was found Monday, showing signs of choking and severe bruising on the thorax and abdomen - as well as burns on the legs.

A wave of organized crime violence terrorizing many parts of Mexico is driving fear into the heart of the entertainment business with the murders of several popular musicians.

Although not known for songs glamorizing the drug business, Gomez had reportedly received death threats urging him not to appear in the capital of Michoacan, a hotbed of the drug trade.

Some fear that singers, whether they have any links to drug cartels or not, are routinely "adopted" by drug gangs, which post Internet videos showing their members torturing and executing rivals to soundtracks of popular tunes.

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