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SONORA, Mexico, Nov. 4, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — At least nine members of an extended family with Utah ties were shot and killed in northern Mexico on Monday after being caught up in an ambush and kidnapping by cartel members.
First reports of the massacre and kidnapping were posted by grief-stricken relatives on social media.
Lafe Langford, Jr., posted video of a burned-out, bullet-riddled Chevy Suburban in a field next to a road near the Sonora-Chihuahua border.
“This is for the record, Nita, and four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up. Right on the road out of La Mora.”
Nita was later identified in Langford’s post as Rhonita Miller.
Langford also reported two other Suburbans, carrying two mothers and 10 children, had vanished. He later posted the devastating news that both mothers and a number of children had been killed or wounded. Other children were reported missing.
“To the citizens of the United States Of America, Mexico and to HUMAN BEINGS across the world….THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY THAT IS HAPPENING NOW..NEW DETAILS ARE ARRIVING BY THE SECOND….THIS IS ONGOING. AS OF NOVEMBER 4TH 7:00 PM CENTRAL TIME…..it is with heavy hearts and unspeakable sadness we inform you that the 2 missing Mothers Christina Langford and Dawna Langford along with many of their precious INNOCENT children have been slaughtered and gone to their Rest. We’ve had no help from the powers and authorities that be as of yet ….one of the older boys escaped with 4 of his siblings and he was able to run home to La Mora Municipio Bavispe Sonora Mexico after leaving his siblings hiding behind trees from the ONGOING shootout between the cartels. Teenagers and adults have been scrambling into the mountains to find our loved ones..risking their very own lives….while the governments and armies are nowhere to be found… GOD HELP US IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY.”
Family member Nefi LeBaron also posted on social media Monday night, asking Facebook followers to spread word of the deadly incident.
“3 mothers 7 innocent children murdered… 4 children are being rescued at this moment.
“Short summary: All 3 families were driving together in a caravan through Northern Mexico. We assume that they got in a mafia cross fire. The families are thinking that the mafia mistook Rhonita’s vehicle for a rivals, then proceeded to attack. They eventually realized they killed an innocent family. To cover their tracks they burnt the vehicle with all of the passengers inside. Then took all the other woman and children hostage.”
The Mexican government has issued a statement saying members of the Army, National Guard and local police have been dispatched to the scene of Monday’s violence about 100 miles south of the Arizona border.
The U.S. State Department also issued a statement Monday indicating it was aware of the attack.
“The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad is among the Department of State’s top priorities. When a U.S. citizen is missing or passes away overseas, we engage with local officials at multiple levels and provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
Langford described the family settlement in Sonora as “a community of US citizens that live and operate between Mexico and the United States.”
Gephardt Daily will update this developing story as more information becomes available.