Ms. Hartley has said her husband was shot by men in a boat after she and her husband drove their jet skis to the Mexican side of the lake. The men in the boat then chased her back to the US side, she said.
Texas state legislator Aaron Pena, who accompanied Ms. Hartley to the rose-laying ceremony on the lake Wednesday, believes the pirates were likely junior cartel members looking to steal the couple's jet skis, and they carried off the watercraft and Mr. Hartley's body after the shooting.
But that scenario seems too convenient for some commentators.
"It certainly feels better to imagine that a young good-looking married couple was blissfully in love, and that they were simply having fun in the sun when dark forces struck," writes law professor Wendy Murphy, author of "And Justice for Some," in a Fox News commentary. "But let's remember the Scott Peterson and Charles Stuart cases. Two men seemingly head over heels in love with their beautiful pregnant wives when they claimed an unknown killer ruined their picture-perfect lives."
In Zapata, some locals pointed out that jet skiers are unusual on a lake frequented mostly by fishermen, and that it's very rare to see jet skiers cross onto the Mexican side of the lake, which is marked by concrete posts. The Hartleys have lived in Mexico and had few reservations about crossing into Mexico to visit at a half-submerged church near Old Guerrero, despite warnings about pirates, Ms. Hartley has explained