In a devastating and inexplicable atrocity, nine innocent U.S. citizens, including young children, were shot to death and possibly burned in northern Mexico on Monday. The victims were reportedly caught in the crossfire between two drug cartels in the border state of Sonora.
The victims hold dual US-Mexico citizenship and were near their Church of Latter-Day Saints’ place of worship.
“It is with heavy hearts and unspeakable sadness we inform you that the 2 missing Mothers… along with many of their precious INNOCENT children have been slaughtered and gone to their Rest,” a relative, Lafe Langford Jr., wrote on Facebook.
Maria Rhonita Miller and her four children, along with Dawna Ray Langford, Christina Marie Langford, and one of their daughters were among the victims, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
At least one child walked from the ambush site to the family home.
The remains of Miller and her children were found inside the family’s burned out, bullet-ridden Chevy Suburban.
“We need this to be shared and the whole world to witness the atrocious inhumane and barbaric acts that were committed against us today,” Langford Jr. wrote along with a posted video of the family’s smoldering Chevy Suburban. Countless bullet holes are visible in the vehicle’s body paneling.
Watch: (Warning – Disturbing content)
The Tribune reported …
The families are from La Mora, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Ariz. They are a mix of people who worship with the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and polygamous offshoots. Lafe Langford Jr. said the killings happened near the town of Bavispe in the state of Sonora. The gunmen, Langford said, are believed to be members of a cartel from Chihuahua who encroached on another cartel’s territory.
The paper also reported that Langford Jr. said in a phone interview that the cartel gunmen mistakenly believed the Miller and Langford convoy of three SUVs were their intended targets from a rival cartel.
Langford told the paper that one of the kidnapped women’s relatives received a phone call from her and that a woman was heard screaming and men talking loudly.
The families are from La Mora, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. They are part of a community in Mexico where the residents often have both U.S. and Mexican citizenship and have intermarried among Mormon churches where their forebears settled decades ago.
The Tribune reports that “Mexico’s federal Department of Security and Citizens’ Protection said security forces were reinforced with National Guard, army and state police troops in the area following ‘the reports about disappearance and aggression against several people.'”
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