Mexico deploys forces after reports of deadly ambush of Americans

Yolanda Curtis
November 5, 2019

Another relative, Lafe Langford Jr, said one of the older boys was able to escape with six of his siblings and run home to La Mora, a city in Sonora in north-western Mexico, about 112km from Arizona.

Yesterday Rhonita Maria LeBaron, Christina Langford Johnson and Dawna Langford, along with six of their small children - including twin babies - were driving north in Sonora to the United States for a family wedding.

The Mormons attacked appear to be members of a fundamentalist sect that is separate from the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an LDS church spokesman said.

Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said the gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for rival gangs.

El Universal reported that a large group of family members were traveling to La Mora, in the municipality of Bavispe, from another part of the municipality when they were ambushed Monday morning.


Preliminary information indicates three vehicles traveling between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua in the region of Sierra Madre Occidental were attacked by criminal groups, Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua Cesar Peniche Espejel said in a statement Tuesday. The six children and woman who were found were all injured, he said, with one child having suffered a gunshot wound to the back. Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano said on her official Twitter that the state is collaborating with the investigation.

His cousin's van had been set on fire with the victims inside, he said.

"I don't know what type of monsters would dare to hurt women and children".

Durazo said police, soldiers and the National Guard were searching the rural, mountainous area on the Sonora-Chihuahua border for the missing child. "As Governor, you have my collaboration so that this does not go unpunished and the responsible parties will pay".

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State told ABC News, "We are aware of these reports".


The attack comes amid worsening violence in the region and follows last month's ambush that killed 13 Mexican police officers in the western state of Michoacan.

Several children who fled the attack were lost for hours in the countryside before being found, Julian LeBaron added.

Now, grief from the latest high-profile massacre has spread across two countries.

"Their vehicle was on fire and there were bullet holes all throughout it", Staddon told CNN affiliate KTVK.

"I think a lot of us are just speechless.it's just horrific", Staddon told KTVK.


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