Gunmen have kidnapped the sole police officer in a northern Mexican town, a 28-year-old woman working alone after her colleagues resigned or were killed.
An AP report says that a dozen unidentified gunmen set Erika Gandara's home ablaze late December and torched two cars parked outside before abducting her.
Guadalupe, the town of 9,000 inhabitants she helped keep safe, is located just off the US-Mexico border.
A single woman without children, Gandara often patrolled the streets with her automatic pistol in hand. She joined the police force in 2009, when there were 12 agents on the force with her. As rampant drug violence spiraled, the report says that Gandara began to lose her colleagues, one after the next.
The town of Guadalupe is just up the road from the hamlet of Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, where 20 year-old female college student and young mother Marisol Valles took over as police chief in October 2010. But the report says that Valles has said that given her inability to confront organized crime and instead, is going to focus on social work.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon announced a widespread crackdown involving tens of thousands of troops that has so far failed to stem the bloodshed. Over the same period, there have been 5,300 kidnappings -- a 317 percent increase, according to Jose Luis Obando, who heads the Public Security Commission in the Chamber of Deputies.