Sergio Gómez, lead singer of the duranguense band K-Paz de la Sierra, was kidnapped and later executed Sunday morning (Dec. 2) in Mexico's Michoacán state. He was 34.

Accompanied by Victor Hugo Sánchez and Javier Rivera, K-Paz' Mexico- and U.S.-based promoters, respectively, the three reportedly left a performance at the Estadio Morelos in the state capital of Morelia, and were later intercepted by at least 10 vans. The two promoters were freed two hours later, but Gómez was in captivity until he was discovered yesterday (Dec. 3) on a highway near Morelia, bearing signs of torture and strangulation.

Gómez' body was also burned, but was identified via a tattoo of a panther on his left arm. An investigation was underway by law enforcement authorities in Michoacán. Gómez was reportedly threatened before Saturday's show, and received threats before a scheduled show at the same venue in 2006, when he decided not to perform.

Authorities are reportedly investigating organized crime's possible role in the murder, the latest one to shake the regional Mexican music world. Other recent high-profile targets have included banda star Valentin Elizalde, gunned down after a concert in late 2006, and grupero singer Zayda Peña, who was shot to death in a hospital the same weekend Gómez was kidnapped. K-Paz de la Sierra is known for its repertoire of danceable romantic numbers, not for narcocorridos, or songs about the drug trade.

The group scored several hits in its four-year career, with two top 10 songs on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart in 2005 -- "Volveré" and "Mi Credo." K-Paz' other hits include 2006's "Te Vas a Arrepentir" and "Y Aqui Estoy," featuring Ana Gabriel, this year.

K-Paz de la Sierra's top-selling album in the U.S. was 2005's "Mas Capaces Que Nunca," with 182,000 copies sold as of press time, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its Dec. 11 release on Disa, "Capaz De Todo Por Ti," debuted at No. 7 on last week's Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.

The group split up in 2007, with Gómez retaining the rights to the K-Paz name and the rest of the band forming another group, AK-7.

K-Paz de la Sierra was honored twice last month with handprint ceremonies at walks of fame in Mexico City and Las Vegas.

At deadline, the label nor management had any comment on Gomez' death. In a statement, Promotores Unidos USA, the regional Mexican concert promoters’ association, extended its condolences to the artist’s promoters, family, friends, colleagues, label and fans.

“Promotores Unidos USA categorically deplores the events that put the security and life of our artists at risk, no matter where they work. Our organization also trusts that the authorities will take measures to guarantee the responsible promotion of this professional activity.”

“Everyone has condemned this senseless act, including the members of AK-7,” says a spokesman for Gomez’ former bandmates.

Paulo Sergio Gomez Sanchez was born in Michoacan, the same state where he died. His body was transferred from Morelia to Ciudad Hidalgo and then Mexico City, where he was to be cremated after a mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Gomez' wife, who lives in Indianapolis, was to receive the remains in Chicago, where K-Paz de la Sierra got its start.

Additional reporting by Ayala Ben-Yehuda, L.A.