Family Mourns the Death of 9 Americans Killed in Mexico

By Samuel Allegri

Three Mexican-American mothers and six children were killed while leaving their settlements in a caravan of SUVs in Sonora, Mexico, on Nov. 4.

“All three of them were just the sweetest women,” said Leah Staddon, who told The Washington Post that she was related to the now-deceased women, “just beautiful mothers and wives and friends to the whole community.”

The victims were: 30-year-old Rhonita Miller, also known as Rhonita Maria LeBaron; 43-year-old Dawna Ray Langford; and 31-year-old Christina Marie Langford, Lafe Langford Jr. told the Salt Lake Tribune. Four of Miller’s children and two of Langford’s children, an 11-year-old and a 3-year-old, were also killed.

Another five children were injured and taken to a hospital in U.S. territory. They were all identified as part of the LeBaron family.

Mormon attack victims
This photo shows Howard Jackob Miller, Jr., Rhonita Maria Miller, infant twins Titus Alvin Miller and Tiana Griciel Miller, and Krystal Bellaine Miller, who all died in the attack. Howard Miller, the adult male pictured, is alive and is not believed to have been present at the attack. (Courtesy of Jhon LeBaron)

“There are very, very dedicated mothers,” said Daniel LeBaron, a cousin of Miller, to the Post. “They were super dedicated to their children, and [taught them] the value of hard work since they were young.”

“Our family’s real industrious,” said Kenny LeBaron, a cousin of Johnson, “I don’t think there’s a single member of our family that’s 25 years old that doesn’t own a company.”

The 1,000-acre ranch community where they lived, La Mora, was known to be quiet and peaceful, but in recent years, crime groups contending for power in the region have caused terror to the small community.

An important member of the LeBaron family, 31-year-old Benjamin LeBaron, was killed after he publicly condemned the drug traffickers for their kidnapping of his younger brother and demand of a $1 million ransom.

“This has happened before in the past,” Kenny LeBaron said. “This isn’t our first run against the cartel.”

Austin Cloes points to a photo of relatives Rhonita Miller
Austin Cloes points to a photo of relatives Rhonita Miller and her family, who were killed in Mexico, on a computer screen in Herriman, Utah on Nov. 5, 2019. (Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

Miller’s cousin Samuel LeBaron said that the recent tragedy was “the worst thing that’s ever happened here.”

He said that Miller came from a family of a lot of girls and that “she’s the sweetest of them all.”

President Donald Trump had offered help to Mexico after the incident, “to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

“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!” Trump wrote.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he didn’t want intervention by a foreign government, but spoke with Trump on the phone.