Chained to a bed in one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons, Marine veteran Jon Hammar is seen shirtless with a look a despair on his face in a new photo sent to his family from an anonymous Mexican email account.
“His eyes look a little lost,” Hammar’s mother, Olivia, told Fox News Latino. “It doesn’t look like him. I feel like my blood pressure is through the roof.”
Hammar and a friend were detained by Mexican authorities in August for a gun-related incident. The two men had crossed the border and provided the paperwork for the weapon they were carrying, an antique shotgun. However, police eventually impounded their RV and jailed both men, claiming it was illegal to carry that type of gun. Hammar’s friend was later released because the gun did not belong to him.
Fox News Latino has more details on the newly released photo:
The photo shows Hammar in solitary confinement inside the Matamoros state prison, nicknamed CEDES. A scraggly looking Hammar is seen shirtless and barefoot with a beard, jean shorts and with his feet over what appears to be grey crocs. He is sitting on an old twin-sized mattress in a room with chipped walls. A gallon of water and a refrigerator are seen to his right. Hammar is staring at the person taking the photo and does not appear to have any visible injuries.
It is the first photo released of Hammar since he and a friend were detained by Mexican authorities in August.
According to Hammar and his family, the gun was an antique shotgun that had belonged to his great grandfather.
The charges against Hammar appear to be over a technicality. Mexican prosecutors allege the length of Hammar’s shotgun barrel, which according to Mexican law has to be longer than 25 inches, was too short, although a discrepancy has emerged over how the barrel was measured.
The photo was reportedly sent anonymously from a Yahoo.mx email account.
“I found your email on the Internet and I wanted to send you this photo…I am not giving you my name because I like my job and I don’t want to lose it. Juan is OK but I hope he is let out quickly,” the email read in Spanish.
Hammar’s mother claims she and her husband, Jon, have received phone calls in the middle of the night from prisoners trying to extort money from them. But she thinks the photo comes from “someone trying to help.”
But who exactly sent the recent photo is still a mystery.
“Where he is in the prison, he’s right next to the administrative offices…All of the inmates, staff, all of the visitors walk right by there. So anyone could have taken the photo,” the mother told Fox News Latino.
At age 18, Hammar enlisted in the Marines and was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq where his unit provided security for Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, protected election polls and disrupted insurgent cells.