Funerals for victims set to begin Thursday

LA MORA, Mexico — Relatives from the United States and Mexico will begin the grim task on Thursday of burying the nine women and children slaughtered in an ambush in a mountainous area near the Sonora-Chihuahua border where rival cartels are fighting a vicious turf war.

Two funerals will take place Thursday in La Mora, a town in Sonora founded by fundamentalist offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A third funeral will take place on Friday in LeBaron, a fundamentalist offshoot community in neighboring Chihuahua.

Dawna Ray Langford, 43, will be buried in the first funeral at 10 a.m., along with two of her children killed in the attack: 11-year-old Trevor Harvey Langford, and 2-year-old Rogan Jay Langford, according to Kendra Lee Miller, a relative.

Rhonita Maria (LeBaron) Miller, 30, will be buried in a second funeral at 2 p.m., along with four of her children who were killed: 8-month-old twins, Titus Alvin Miller and Tiana Gricel Miller; and Krystal Bellaine Miller, 10; and Howard Jacob Miller Jr., 12.

Dozens of relatives of nine women and children ambushed and killed in Mexico meet on Nov. 6, 2019, at the Walmart in Douglas, just a few feet from the U.S.-Mexico border. They came from all over the United States, gathered by tragedy as they prepared to travel to the town of La Mora, Sonora, where many of them were born or grew up.

A third funeral will take place Friday in Colonia LeBaron in Chihuahua for Chistina Johnson, 33.

All three families belonged to a fundamentalist offshoot of the LDS church, and had dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship.

Family relative: ‘I’ve never felt this kind of fear before going into Mexico’

Dozens of relatives of the slain family members from all over the United States gathered Wednesday in a Walmart parking lot in Douglas, Arizona. They then crossed over into Mexico to begin the three-hour drive to La Mora in a convoy of about a dozen vehicles guarded by heavily-armed Mexican solders and state police.

History:Why offshoots of the Mormon church fled to Mexico

Emily Langford, a close relative of the victims, traveled from Utah to attend the funerals. She said she grew up in Mexico feeling safe but was afraid to return.

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