Relatives say at least 5 US citizens killed in north Mexico

International

MEXICO CITY (AP) — At least five U.S. citizens, including four children, who live in the Mexican border state of Sonora have been killed in a shooting attack, relatives said Monday.

A relative who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals said he had located the burned-out, bullet-ridden SUV containing the remains of his nephew’s wife and her four children.

Another relative, Julian LeBaron, said on his Facebook page the dead woman was Rhonita Maria LeBaron. She apparently died along with her twin 6-month-old babies and two other children aged 8 and 10.

The first relative attributed the attack to drug cartel gunmen and said he saw dozens of heavily armed gunmen near the burned-out vehicle.

The man said a convoy of three vehicles had set out Monday from La Mora — a decades-old settlement founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — but were attacked by cartel gunmen in what he said may have been a case of mistaken identity. Two of the three vehicles believed to be carrying two women and 13 children were still missing.

Authorities in Sonora state and the U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The 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.”

Jhon LeBaron, another relative, posted on his Facebook page that his aunt and another woman were dead, which could bring the death toll to at least seven. But Jhon LeBaron posted that six of his aunt’s children had been left abandoned but alive on a roadside.

The families lived in La Mora, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Douglas, Arizona. Many of the church’s members were born in Mexico and thus have dual citizenship.

It would not be the first time that members of the break-away church had been attacked in northern Mexico, where their forebears settled — often in Chihuahua state — decades ago.

In 2009, Benjamin LeBaron, an anti-crime activist who was related to those killed in Monday’s attack, was murdered in 2009 in neighboring Chihuahua state.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

51°F Clear Feels like 51°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
89%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Partly cloudy skies. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Crowley

57°F Clear Feels like 57°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
92%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mostly clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Opelousas

56°F Clear Feels like 56°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
79%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few passing clouds. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F A few passing clouds. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Breaux Bridge

57°F Clear Feels like 57°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
87%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Generally clear skies. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Generally clear skies. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
2 mph NNW
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

New Iberia

52°F Clear Feels like 52°
Wind
5 mph SSE
Humidity
97%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
47°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
3 mph WNW
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous

Sidebar

Trending Stories