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An American woman died in the crossfire of an apparent drug deal gone bad at a popular Mexican beach resort in the municipality of Tulum. 

The Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into the Feb. 9 incident which saw the death of an alleged drug dealer from Belize and an American woman, later identified as 44-year-old Los Angeles native Niko Honarbakhsh, according to ABC News. 

The dead man had cocaine and "transparent bags with red and orange pills" as well as bags with "brown granulated powder" in his possession when he was killed, leading the prosecutor’s office to determine that he was likely a drug dealer and part of a gang. 

Local reports tried to connect the pair and indicated they were involved in a relationship, but the prosecutor’s office dismissed these reports as inaccurate, according to a statement. 

4 BUS AND TAXI DRIVERS SHOT TO DEATH IN VIOLENT SOUTHERN MEXICO CITY

Tulum Beach Belize

An American woman was killed in a shootout in the Mexican resort area of Tulum on Feb. 9, 2024. (Daniel Gastaldi/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The U.S. State Department told Fox News Digital that it could confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in Tulum, and offered "sincerest condolences to the family." 

"We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death," a department spokesperson said. We are providing all appropriate assistance to the family. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment." 

MEXICO'S PRESIDENT CONDEMNS REPORTS OF OLD US INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED DRUG CAMPAIGN DONATIONS

Mexican military Tulum

A unit of the Mexican Army patrols the streets of Tulum, Quintana Roo state, Mexico on Jan. 31, 2023. Los Angeles native Niko Honarbakhsh, 44, was shot dead in Tulum on Feb. 9, 2024, according to ABC News.? (David Gannon/AFP via Getty Images)

Prosecutors maintain that Honarbakhsh died as a result of a stray bullet. Both bodies will undergo autopsies as part of the investigation. Prosecutors have identified suspects and have started pursuing leads to apprehend them. None of the suspects have been named.

Other tourists in recent years have died in gang-related crossfire in Tulum. Two such tourists, which included a California travel blogger and a German, were killed in 2021 while eating in a restaurant after rival drug dealers started shooting each other. 

MEXICO DEMANDS ANSWERS AMID FLOOD OF US MILITARY-GRADE WEAPONS TO DRUG CARTELS

Tulum airport dedication

A front view during the inauguration of the Tulum International Airport on Dec. 1, 2023 in Tulum, Mexico, which is a popular resort area for Americans. (Medios y Media/Getty Images)

The U.S. last year issued "Do Not Travel" warnings for parts of Mexico ahead of the popular March spring break travel period, citing gang violence and noting that U.S. citizens have "become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills." 

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Cartel members kidnapped four Americans who traveled across the border seeking cosmetic surgery, but two of the Americans and an innocent Mexican bystander died during a shootout. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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