Family ambushed on way to wedding in Mexico: Unanswered questions

One person was in custody Wednesday, but many questions remained unanswered surrounding the massacre that took the lives of nine family members in northern Mexico.

The victims lived in the Mexican enclave of La Mora, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. Austin Cloes, a relative of the victims who lives in Utah, said they lived quiet lives, enjoying their children and operating a successful pecan farming operation.

Monday’s slaughter was carried out by cartel gunmen who ambushed three SUVs along a dirt road in the remote, mountainous area of Sonora state, authorities said. Three women and six children died in the carnage.

Eight children survived. Five of them were flown by military helicopters to U.S. hospitals. Sonora state health officials said they were in stable condition. 

We know what happened – but why?

Leah Staddon, a relative, told The Arizona Republic that the three mothers with dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship were driving from Bavispe to a wedding in LeBaron, a Mormon-offshoot community in the state of Chihuahua, when their three SUVs loaded with children were attacked. One of the vehicles may have been headed for the airport in Phoenix, officials said.

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