TAMPICO, Mexcico (Christian Examiner) -- The director behind such family friendly films as "Little Boy" and "Bella" is mourning the murder of his father and brother, who were kidnapped nearly three weeks ago in their home country of Mexico and their bodies found Sept. 19.
Juan Manuel Gómez Fernández and Juan Manuel Gómez Monteverde are the father and brother, respectively, of director/producer Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. They were kidnapped when leaving their homes in Tampico, Tamaulipas, the Latin Times reported, and were reported missing on Sept. 4.
His friend and fellow filmmaker Eduardo Verastegui requested prayer.
"With a heart full of pain and sadness, I ask for prayers for my friend and 'compadre' Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and all his family. My deepest condolences to my soul brother, I love you so much 'compadre,' I put my heart in your hands and I join you in this deep pain," Verastegui wrote on Twitter, according to the website.
Juan Manuel was the business partner at a restaurant located in a section of Tampico known for drug cartel activity, the Latin Times reported. Televisa's Carlos Loret de Mola reported that the kidnappers demanded a ransom that was paid, although they reneged and killed the two men anyway.
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, Verastegui and another man founded Metanoia Films with the goal of making family friendly films that positively impact the culture, and their first one, "Bella" (2006), told the story of a woman who considers having an abortion but eventually chooses to give birth.
Bella was embraced by the pro-life community and was credited with saving unborn lives. Their second film, "Little Boy," was released earlier this year and told about a young boy who has a strong faith that his father will return from World War II. Each of the films received an audience score of 81 percent at RottenTomatoes.com.
Monteverde, educated at the University of Texas in Austin, also was the producer of the short pro-life film "Crescendo," which is available on YouTube. He is married to Ali Landry, an American actress from Louisiana who is a former Miss USA.
Earlier this year Verastegui – who also is from Tamaulipas -- told the Christian Examiner about a spiritual transformation that took place in his life when he was an actor and a well-known heartthrob. Through the influence of his English coach, he began realizing that as an actor, "whether I liked it not," movies "affected how people think, how they behave." That led him to co-found Metanoia Films with Monteverde.
"My idea was to put together a company with one goal: to make movies that make a difference in people's lives," he said.
David Henrie, an actor best known for his role as Ted Mosy's future son on the CBS TV show, How I Met Your Mother, wrote on Facebook: "My heart and prayers go out for the Monteverde family... Prayers are needed please all of u... Please pray for Alejandro Monteverde and his family in these devastating times. And pray for mexico these injustices MUST END. ?#?prayforMexico?."