A suspect has been arrested in the 2019 ambush murders of 9 members of an American family — including 6 children — in Mexico.
According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, authorities arrested a man they only identify as "Alfredo L." The man is a member of a criminal group operating in northern Mexico. He was detained in the border city of Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday.
Authorities say that the man was one of those responsible for ambushing the family as they drove in a convoy along an isolated road in the Mexican state of Sonora.
To date, 12 suspects have been arrested in connection with the case. Only two of them — including the man arrested last week – have been accused of murder. The other 10 are facing other charges, including illegal possession of weapons and organized crime, officials said.
The victims lived in a Mormon community in northern Mexico, about 100 miles south of the Arizona border. They all left the community at the same time, driving in three separate SUVs. Some of the victims were traveling back to the United States, while others were heading to a neighboring town to attend a wedding.
While the convoy of SUVs was driving on a remote road, they were ambushed and sprayed with gunfire. According to CBS News, the gunmen shot so many bullets that one of the SUVs exploded.
The victims included Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; Dawna Langford, 43; Trevor Langford, 11; and Rogan Langford, 2. Also killed were Rhonita Miller, 30; Howard Miller, 12; Krystal Miller, 10; and the 8-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana Miller.
Eight children survived the attack. Some of the survivors were seriously wounded, including a 9-month-old who was shot in the chest and a 4-year-old shot in the back.
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In the days after the attack, Mexican authorities suggested that the shooting might have been a case of mistaken identity. They believed that the shooting was a result of two criminal groups fighting for control of that region and its lucrative trafficking routes for drugs, weapons and other contraband.
Authorities from both Mexico and the U.S. decried the killings at the time.
Donald Trump called the attackers “monsters” in a tweet at the time, and added that “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!”
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a tweet on Tuesday, “Through communication with Trump, I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed on the borders of Chihuahua and Sonora.”
A GoFundMe set up for the family raised nearly $200,000.
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