Nine U.S. citizens were killed in an apparent cartel attack in northern Mexico on a convoy carrying members of the LeBaron family, who are part of a historical Mormon enclave in the Sonora region, relatives say. The victims include three mothers and six children. They are members of the LeBaron, Miller, Langford, and Johnson families.
A relative has posted a graphic and grim account of multiple members of the LeBaron family being murdered in northern Mexico. The horrendous story was first shared on social media on Monday, November 4, by family members. “13 US CITIZENS KIDNAPPED AND BEING KILLED…” Kenny LeBaron posted on his Facebook page, adding that those slain included mothers and young children. Another relative, Jhon LeBaron, posted similar details. One surviving child, Devin Blake Langford, 13, “walked approximately 14 miles to LaMora to get help, after hiding his bleeding but living siblings in the bushes, and covering them with branches,” a family member wrote on Facebook.
According to NBC News, the victims include three adult women, Dawna Langford, 43; Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; and Rhonita Miller, also known as Rhonita Maria LeBaron, 30. Six children were also killed, family members say. They have been identified as Howard Miller, 12; Trevor Langford, 11; Krystal Miller, 10; Rogan Langford, 2; and 8-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana Miller.
Other relatives were injured, but survived, the family says. There is a GoFundMe page to help the families. “We are a community of US citizens that live and operate between Mexico and the United States we are under attack as we speak by the cartels in Mexico…we need this to be shared and the whole world to witness the atrocious inhumane and barbaric acts that were committed against us today,” the page reads.
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that family members were killed after they “got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other.”
The Salt Lake Tribune says the murders occurred near the Town of Bavispe in the state of Sonora. The Associated Press reports that a “convoy of three vehicles” was attacked as it left La Mora, a historic settlement that is an “offshoot” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family members believe that the attackers were affiliated with a cartel that might have mistaken them for someone else, according to AP.
Mormon sects, which have existed in Mexico for decades, have battled with cartels in Mexico for some time. At times, their wealth has drawn the attention of drug gangs; in other cases, their anti-crime activism draws note. There are several of these settlements. In 2009, The Seattle Times reported on a Mexican settlement of Mormons called Colonia LeBaron, saying that its residents were “the latest collateral damage in the U.S.-backed drug war.” That colony stemmed from a man named Alma Dayer LeBaron, who moved his sect to Mexico six decades before after having a vision, the newspaper reported, adding that extortion threats and kidnappings had made the family and various Mormon settlements targets.
The Spanish-language site El Diario Chihuahua reported that “one woman and her four dead children” were among the victims, identifying that mother as Rhonita María LeBaron (The Salt Lake Tribune gave her name as Maria Rhonita Miller). The attack was perpetrated by “organized crime,” according to the newspaper, which added that, at that time, two other women and 8 children were missing or abducted. El Diario reported that Rhonita and her children died when her vehicle “exploded.”
Kenny LeBaron, who lives in North Dakota, posted the series of frantic posts on his Facebook page on November 4, 2019. They included photos of the LeBaron family members and video. “Guys please pray for my family. My cousin…she was in mexico on her way to my town and was ambushed by cartel they killed her and her 4 children and burnt them alive even the 2 babies ?. They live in williston,” came his first post. Other relatives gave similar accounts, including sharing videos and photos of wounded children who survived.
Each post grew more frantic.
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing. If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively. The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
He added, “This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kenny LeBaron Reported That Family Members Were Hiding Behind Trees & Were Kidnapped & ‘Being Killed’
“PLEASE SHARE !!” read the first post by Kenny LeBaron. “This is real this is my family ! Please pray for them.” According to the Tribune, the families targeted lived in La Mora, which is about an hour south of Douglas, Ariz. Some “worship with the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” and others have ties to “polygamous offshoots,” the newspaper reported.
Kenny LeBaron’s post continued:
13 US CITIZENS KIDNAPPED AND BEING KILLED…
This is happening at this very moment, please help spread the word!! ??
Update: Devan and Trevor ran over 5 miles to get help. These 2 brave boys hid as many of the surviving children as they could. They are hidden under a tree. Donna and Christina have been confirmed shot and killed along with some of the younger children. We don’t know how many of the kids made it. They were ambushed. The families are currently headed to rescue the surviving children. We don’t know who survive or who’s injured or if they are still in danger. More updates to come.
13 US CITIZENS KIDNAPPED AND BEING KILLED…
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. It’s a developing story. That’s all we have. 10 confirmed dead. 13 victims are children.
1 mother (Rhonita) and 4 kids shot and burned alive.
2 mothers and their children kidnapped. (Then these 2 mothers and 3 more children were confirmed dead…)
UPDATE!!!! Our family with help from the military took the hill and cleared it. They found 6 children all alive and the baby Christina was holding when she was shot was alive as she had tossed her in the back saving her.
Mother: Dawna langford 43
Kylie evelyn 14
Devin blake 13
Trevor harvey 11
Mckenzie rayne 9
Cody greyson 7
Jake ryder 6
Xander boe 4
Rogan Jay 3
Brixon Oliver 10 months
2nd mother: Christina with her infant baby.
They are all US citizens.
This happened sometime this afternoon.
UPDATE!! As of about 5 minutes ago military along with our local militia are making and attempt to take the hill that the cartel have posted up on they feel confident they can clear it and it will open a path for the ambulance to get to the surviving children they were all wounded so they need this to work !!
Please contact your local news stations. Send them pictures and info. We need to blast this story! Please share and please continue praying for these families. The more awareness we create, the more pressure it puts on getting the survivors back.
I am in shock and are horrified. Please help bring the survivors home safely. ?????????????
#SoSad #RIP #Family #Friends #Murdered #PrayForMexico
Around 7 p.m. on the west coast in the United States, Kenny LeBaron wrote: “Update !!! As of a few minutes ago they were sending another group because they were still pinned down. As of a few minutes ago about 45 spiders showed up to reinforce the family and to take the hill where the gunmen are positioned in order to clear a path to the children still hiding wounded behind the tree.”
This video showed a burnt out car:
Kenny shared a post from another woman that read, “I just want to ask every person that I know to please gather your families and pray for us all. My sister in law… and 4 of her children…and the twins…were all shot at and burnt traveling over the mountain by Chihuahua mafia. My Aunt … with 9 of her children, and (another woman) with her baby …are still missing. There are soldiers and armed men that have been mobilized and are now headed towards us to help. There has been lots of shooting heard a couple miles from our home… God is with us. Please be with us in your prayers.”
2. The Attack Occurred as the Family Members Were Traveling to an Airport & to See Family, Reports Say
The AZCentral newspaper reported that the mothers slain had U.S. and Mexican citizenship. “Their three vehicles loaded with children were attacked by gunfire, causing one of the vehicles to explode in flames,” the newspaper reported.
“On the morning of November 4th, 2019, three mothers in three vehicles, with fourteen children between them, set out from LaMora, a small family community in the mountains of northeastern Sonora. Two of them to see family in Chihuahua, and one of them to pick up her husband from the airport in Phoenix, AZ. They never made it. They were ambushed by the Mexican cartels; shot, burned, and murdered in cold blood. These were innocent civilians, American citizens simply trying to live peaceful lives,” relative Tiffany Langford wrote on Facebook.
“For 11 hours, their families all over Sonora, Chihuahua, and the Midwestern US waited in fear and horror for any news of possible survivors. The first vehicle was found full of bullet holes and completely ablaze. Nita and the four of her seven children she had taken on the trip were burned to mostly ashes and only a few charred bones left to identify that all five had been inside. It appeared that one tried to escape as the front passenger door was open and the remains were partially in and out of the vehicle.”
The Security Committee of Sonora confirmed to AZCentral that authorities were investigating an attack but didn’t give many details.
Christopher Landau, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, was in Sonora on the same day. “On the way to #Sonora for my first visit to northwestern Mexico! I have many work meetings, but I will take the opportunity to try the famous Sonoran gastronomy and witness the sunset in the #CiudadDelSol,” he wrote before news of the attack broke out.
As news broke of the attack, Landau wrote, “The security of our nationals is our top priority. I am following the situation in the mountains between Sonora and Chihuahua very closely.”
3. Mormon Colonies Have Existed in Mexico for More Than 100 Years But Have Also Warred Recently With Cartels
In 1986, The New York Times reported about the emergence of Mormon colonies in Mexico. The newspaper reported then that colonies were established by Mormons there 100 years before because they wanted to practice polygamy “free from interference” and convert Mexicans to Mormonism.
Although most of those colonies died out, a few persisted, according to The Times. Working as farmers, “some live in two-story Victorian-style brick houses reminiscent of Salt Lake City,” the newspaper reported then.
In 2012, Vice reported, “The cartels of Juarez, Mexico, are at war with a group of Mormons, some of whom are related to Mitt Romney. We went there to document the conflict, meet Romney’s Mormon family, and find out more about how US policy is impacting the war on drugs.”
In 2017, BBC reported on the account of a woman named Anna LeBaron, who claimed her father “was the leader of a polygamous cult responsible for more than 20 murders.” She told BBC: “We were taught that we were celestial children, having been born from the prophet Ervil LeBaron. And we believed it. Even though we were treated so poorly we still believed we were celestial children.” She was born in Mexico.
4. Another Relative, Jhon LeBaron, Said That Some Children Escaped With Bullet Holes in Their Bodies & a 3-Year-Old Child Was Among the Dead
Jhon LeBaron, who is a realtor, posted a series of cascading updates on his Facebook page that provided more details.
17 family members were following each other in a 3 vehicle caravan. 9 were killed, 6 wounded, and 2 unharmed ?? My aunt Dawna and two of her kids were found murdered-3 year old Rogan and her 11 year old Trevor. 7 of her children escaped with bullet holes in several places on their bodies. Christina Langford Johnson was found murdered, her baby Faith was found alive. Maria Ronita Lebaron and 4 of her children found murdered. Thank you all for the prayers and support ? ?”
9 year old Mckenzie who went walking to find help has been found alive!! ??????
Story has been picked up by several news outlets, including The New York Times. Please keep sharing ????
Several of the kids rescued were shot, one of them was shot in the face and they are trying to get him to the hospital as fast as they can.
Dawnas daughter Mckenzie was shot in the back and arm and she went walking trying to find help, we haven’t been able to find her ?
Please keep praying. Please keep sharing. ??
With soldiers, local enforcements and an ambulance several of my family members were able to go rescue some of the wounded children that were hiding for their life. One of those was Christina’s 7 month old daughter named Faith. She was found alive on the floor in the backseat of the vehicle ???
PLEASE SHARE & TAG NEWS STATIONS. We can’t let this inhumane act go without justice. We lost 9 family members who were murdered in today’s tragic masacre ?
Just got word both my Aunt Dawna and Christina have been killed, the Cartel murdered them and several of their babies ?
They left 6 of Dawnas kids on the side of the road and took off. My aunt Dawnas son Devon hid some of his shot and wounded siblings in the bushes and ran all the way back to town for help.
Currently some of my family is on their way to pick up the kids that are hurt and hiding.
Please pray that the murderers are caught & brought to justice ???
Video shows the shot up and burnt vehicle my cousin and her 4 kids were in ? ? We need this to go viral. We need those missing/being held hostage back. Please keep praying and sharing.
…Please pray for my family in Mexico ??
My heart is completely broken. This feels like a bad dream I want to wake up from.
My family was traveling in a caravan and got ambushed by the mafia.
My cousins beautiful wife Ronita Miller & 4 of her children are gone ? their bodies were found in their vehicle..
And the others (my aunt Dawna Langford Ray & her kids and my cousin Christina Langford Johnson & her baby) are missing! We have no clue where they are.
Pictures shown below is Ronita and Howie with their 7 children, My aunt Dawna’s kids, my aunt Dawna and Uncle David at their daughters wedding and Christina with her baby.
Jhon concluded, “We need all the support and prayers we can get ?????.”
5. A Cousin of a Victim Wrote an Opinion Piece Criticizing Those Who Were ‘Entrenched in Their Evil’ in Mexico & There Have Been Previous Murders
In 2010, a man named Julian LeBaron wrote an opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News that described him as “a farmer and freelance writer with dual American and Mexican citizenship living in Chihuahua.”
“I am petitioning those who are victims of murder, kidnapping or extortion – by people who force the involuntary sacrifice of our good, so they can live further entrenched in their evil and ruin the lives of those who know how to live, for the benefit of parasites who do not,” wrote LeBaron in that article.
“In my state of Chihuahua and throughout Mexico, innumerable lives have been devastated by the loss of freedom and respect that are the right of every human.”
According to El Diario, Julián LeBarón is a cousin of one of the victims. He was asking for authorities to come help.
The Seattle Times article from 2009 said that Julian is a brother of a colony leader named Benjamin LeBaron who had denounced criminal elements. He was shot dead. “We’re living in a war zone, but it’s a war zone with little kids running all around in the yard,” said Julian LeBaron to the Times then.