Chilling last moments of US family of 9 who were ‘shot at point blank range’

The tragic family of nine "slaughtered" by suspected drug cartel were killed in a "point-blank assassination".

Rhonita Maria LeBaron, 33, was killed with her six-month-old twin babies , Titus and Tiana, and two other children – Crystal, eight, and Howard, 10.

Other family members were allegedly taken hostage eight miles up the road in Sonora, Mexico .

Relatives feared Rhonita and her children were alive and trapped when their bullet-riddled SUV was allegedly set on fire and exploded.

Another mum, Christina Johnson, 31, is said to have saved her seven-month-old baby girl, Faith, after she was shot multiple times.

Now new harrowing detail has emerged about the shootings, which were believed to be at point-blank range.


One Mexican federal official close to the investigation said "some of the victims [were shot] at point-blank range".

And an American federal investigator said: "They were taken out of their cars and shot.

"It’s kind of disturbing that the FBI has had no access to the crime scene, which is probably a disaster already because the Mexicans have allowed families to remove the bodies. Any evidence that could have been gathered is probably destroyed."

New York Post reports on allegations cartel gunmen mistook the Mormons’ convoy of dark SUVs for a rival drug group’s in Sonora, Mexico.

But the American federal source added: "We’ve been saying all along that the Mexican government just doesn’t want to investigate anything related to drug trafficking.

"They will go to any extreme to cover everything up.

"It’s completely corrupt, and it’s only going to get worse."

Heavily-armed troops stood guard at the funeral yesterday.


The cemetery in the La Mora Mormon community in Sonara was full of grieving relatives.

They gathered from both sides of the US-Mexico border, including states such as Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, North Dakota and Utah.

Pallbearers lowered into the ground three simple wooden coffins built by family members and adorned with white, red and orange flowers.

Kenneth Miller, whose daughter-in-law and four grandchildren died in the attack, said he hoped the tragedy would draw attention to the thousands of drug cartel victims in Mexico.

"This is happening because we are dual citizens," Mr Miller said, referring to the Mexican government's support following the attack.

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