On Air Now

Listen Now


H 74° L 55°
  • clear-day
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 74° L 55°
  • clear-night
    Clear. H 74° L 55°
  • clear-day
    Mostly Sunny. H 77° L 57°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Mormon family slaying: First funerals held for 9 relatives killed in northern Mexico

Mormon family slaying: First funerals held for 9 relatives killed in northern Mexico

Mormon family slaying: Members of LeBaron family killed in Mexico

Mormon family slaying: First funerals held for 9 relatives killed in northern Mexico

Mourners gathered in Mexico on Thursday for the first funeral for victims of a drug-cartel ambush that left nine American women and children dead earlier this week.

>> Read more trending news 

Relatives told Reuters the people slain belonged to the LeBaron family and were members of a break-away Mormon church that settled decades earlier in northern Mexico. The country's security secretary, Alfonso Durazo, said the victims included three women and six children.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:55 p.m. EST Nov. 7: Mourners gathered for a funeral Thursday in La Mora, a Mexican hamlet of about 300 people who consider themselves Mormon but are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CBS News reported at least 1,000 visitors were expected to bunk in La Mora for the funeral.

According to The Associated Press, three people were buried Thursday in the rocky soil of La Mora's small cemetery: Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and her sons Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 2. Five of Langford's other children were also wounded in the attack, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The other slain victims, including four other children and two women, were excepted to be buried later in Colonia LeBaron, the AP reported.

Authorities continued to search Thursday for the people behind the attack, which happened Monday on a dirt road in northern Mexico. Members of the LeBaron family were traveling in large SUVs which officials said might have led the attackers to believe they were members of a rival gang. The Juarez drug cartel is fighting a vicious turf war against a faction of the Sinaloa cartel in the area.

Update 7:30 p.m. EST Nov. 6: Mexican officials say a suspect who was arrested in the border city of Agua Prieta with assault rifles was not involved in the killing of three American women and six children.

Alfonso Durazo, a public security official, said Wednesday that preliminary information indicates that the suspect who was detained Tuesday is not linked to the attack.

Criminal investigators in northern Mexico earlier said the suspect was under investigation for a possible connection to the killings.

Update 10:30 a.m. EST Nov. 6: Cesar Peniche Espejel, the attorney general for the state of Chihuahua, confirmed the arrest of a suspect in the LeBaron family killings in an interview Tuesday on Mexico's Imagen Radio, CNN reported.

He declined to provide further details about the suspect, though he told Imagen Radio he believes the Los Jaguares cartel, described by CNN as an off-shoot of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, was behind the attack.

"We are waiting for some more intelligence in order to issue an official statement," he said, according to CNN.

It remained unclear Tuesday whether the LeBaron family had been targeted or whether the killings were the result of a case of mistaken identity. Authorities said the three women and six children died Monday while traveling in three separate vehicles on a dirt road between the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

"They had stood up to the drug cartels, and they did have certain frictions either with the cartels or with neighboring communities over water rights," Jorge Castaneda, Mexico's former foreign minister, told CNN

"Their long-standing tensions, and apparently the woman who was driving in the first car that was attacked was an activist. She was someone who was very active in her community, defending her family, her fellow members of the community against cartels, on the issue of water rights."

Mexico's Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said Tuesday the gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for rival gangs.

Update 4:38 a.m. EST Nov. 6: Mexican authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with the slaying of three women and six children in northern Mexico, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

The Agency for Criminal Investigation in Sonora announced in a Facebook post that the suspect, whose name has not been released, was apprehended in Agua Prieta with two bound, gagged hostages. The suspect also had four assault rifles, ammunition and large vehicles, the post said.

Authorities said eight children survived the attack by possible members of a drug cartel, the AP reported.


Posted by AMIC Sonora on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Update 11 p.m. EST Nov. 5: 

A relative of the extended family members killed in a drug cartel ambush in northern Mexico says five children who survived the shooting are in stable condition at an Arizona hospital.

Aaron Staddon of Queen Creek, Arizona, said Tuesday that the children are recovering but that one who was shot in the jaw will need extensive plastic surgery.

He said the family expects the children will transported from a Tucson hospital to a Phoenix facility Wednesday.

Update 3:30 p.m. EST Nov. 5: A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared condolences Tuesday for the victims of Monday's deadly attack in northern Mexico.

In a statement obtained by KSL-TV, Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the church, said the LeBaron family was not part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The victims belonged to a break-away Mormon community which settled decades earlier in northern Mexico, Reuters reported.

"We are heartbroken to hear of the tragedy that has touched these families in Mexico," Hawkins said. "Though it is our understanding that they are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our love, prayers and sympathies are with them as they mourn and remember their loved ones."

Authorities said three women and six children died Monday after cartel gunmen attacked them on a dirt road between the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

Update 1:15 p.m. EST Nov. 5: Taylor Langford, a Utah resident and relative of the LeBaron family, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the victims were attacked on a road they had frequented.

He said Rhonita Miller was on her way to Phoenix to pick up her husband from the airport when the car she was driving was shot until it caught fire. She and four children inside, including twin babies, were burned in the blaze, Langford said.

He told the AP that two cars were next attacked -- one carrying Christina Langford and her baby and the other carrying Dawna Langford and nine children.

Mexican officials confirmed earlier Tuesday that at least three women and six children were confirmed dead in the attack. Authorities believe cartel gunmen were behind the incident.

Langford told KATU that the family previously had interactions with cartels before, but he said the victims were not the intended targets.

"It's a whole new level of cartel violence we've never even imagined down here," he said.

Update 9 a.m. EST Nov. 5: President Donald Trump offered Mexico help battling drug cartels in a series of tweets Tuesday after Mexican officials confirmed at least nine family members had been killed in an attack by cartel gunman.

"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," Trump wrote in the tweets. "This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth."

Update 8:50 a.m. EST Nov. 5: Mexican officials confirmed Tuesday that at least 3 women and 6 children have been killed in an attack by cartel gunmen in northern Mexico, according to The Associated Press.

Members of the LeBaron family previously told Reuters that nine relatives were killed in the attack, which happened Monday on a dirt road between the states of Chihuahua and Sonora. The victims belonged to a break-away Mormon community which settled decades earlier in northern Mexico, Reuters reported.

Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said Tuesday the gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for rival gangs. He said six children were wounded in the attack, and five have been transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona.

Original report: According to The Associated Press, Rhonita Maria LeBaron and her four children, including 6-month-old twins, of Mexico's Sonora state, were in one of three vehicles traveling from the Mormon community of La Mora when they were killed in an attack by possible members of a drug cartel, family member Julian LeBaron said. 

A second family member, Jhon LeBaron, said two other women, including his aunt, also died in the attack, the AP reported. Six children survived, he claimed.

One "burned-out" vehicle was found with human remains – presumably those of Rhonita LeBaron and her children – inside, an unnamed relative told the AP. The other two vehicles are still missing, according to the news agency.

The border states of Sonora and neighboring Chihuahua said they were investigating the incident but did not specify how many people were killed or missing, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than a dozen New York police officers were hurt in an overnight blaze in the city's Bronx borough, authorities said early Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  According to WPIX and WNBC, the fire began about 11 p.m. Tuesday at a Baychester Avenue apartment building. The 100-plus firefighters who responded had the blaze under control within one hour, officials said. As flames rose from the building's second and third stories, police officers knocked on residents' doors to make sure everyone had made it out safely, WPIX reported. Fourteen of the officers were hurt and treated for smoke inhalation, authorities said. WPIX reported that two residents 'sustained minor injuries' in the blaze. In a tweet, police Chief of the Department Terence Monahan praised the officers who rushed into the apartment building. 'Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured,' Monahan said. 'It's courageous acts like this that earn our officers the name -- NY's Finest.' Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire. Read more here or here.
  • An Ohio woman admitted to killing her three sons and was sentenced to 37 years to life in prison after pleading guilty during a hearing Tuesday in Logan County Common Pleas Court. >> Read more trending news  Brittany Pilkington, of Bellefontaine, pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of murder as part of a plea deal. A recommended sentencing of 37 years to life was approved. Pilkington was sentenced to 15 years to life for each count of murder and seven years for involuntary manslaughter. Her defense team said test results showed Pilkington’s brain has damage from severe abuse and childhood lead poisoning. Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart also addressed the court, saying he considered what her sons would want him to say for them. “I can’t even imagine what they’d want me to say,” he said. Pilkington was accused of smothering her three sons, Niall, Gavin and Noah, to death over a 13-month period. Niall, 3 months, died in July 2014; Gavin, 4, died in April 2015; and Noah, 3 months, died in August 2015.
  • A Mississippi mother and her boyfriend have been charged with capital murder in what police are calling the 'suspicious' death of a 13-month-old child.  >> Read more trending news  The incident happened at the Southern Inn and Suites on Hamilton Road in Southaven on Sept. 25, according to Maj. Wayne Perkins with the Southaven Police Department. Detectives began investigating the child's death and called for toxicology reports on the deceased child. They received those reports Monday.  With this new evidence, 18-year-old Kentavia Chapman and her boyfriend, 37-year-old Pierre Jarrell, were both charged with capital murder Monday, authorities said. Chapman and Jarrell were originally charged with felony child abuse in September.  Jarrell also was charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
  • A Georgia sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Tuesday night in Augusta, authorities confirmed. >> Read more trending news  The Richmond County deputy, narcotics investigator Cecil Ridley, was fatally injured at 12th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Augusta, Sheriff’s Office Sgt. William McCarty confirmed to AJC.com. The deputy was conducting proactive patrols to curb gun violence in the area, which began last week, McCarty said. At some point, Ridley encountered a suspect and gunfire was exchanged. It’s unclear what led to the shooting. The suspect was also shot and taken to Augusta University Medical Center, McCarty said. The suspect’s condition is unknown. The GBI confirmed on Twitter it is responding to an officer-involved shooting involving the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. No other information has been released. The Richmond deputy is the seventh Georgia law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in 2019, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks deaths throughout the nation.  Ridley is the 108th officer killed in the line of duty this year, according to the database. He was 51 and lived in Augusta, address records show. It’s unclear how long Ridley worked at the Sheriff’s Office, but he received an award in 2018 for five years of service. This is the 77th officer-involved shooting investigation the GBI has opened this year. The 76th investigation was prompted by a shooting in Monroe on Monday night after an altercation at a hotel, AJC.com previously reported. A man was shot twice by police after he allegedly refused officers’ commands and accelerated a Jeep. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally. – Visit AJC.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • From now through the end of December, Central Floridians can head to Lake County and ride The Polar Express. The Polar Express Train Ride is licensed by Warner Bros. and features a musical, theatrical recreation of a Christmas movie favorite. The ride began on Friday, Nov. 15 and runs to Dec. 30 out of the Tavares train station at Wooton Park in Tavares. The ride’s website says, “You will have your golden ticket punched by the conductor, experience the dancing chefs who will serve cocoa and a tasty treat, interact with the hobo and other characters from the movie, along with enjoying a reading of the classic children’s book THE POLAR EXPRESS™ by Chris Van Allsburg.” Tickets for the ride tart at $48 for weekday coach passes and go up to $$88 for first-class weekend tickets. CLICK HERE for more info and to purchase tickets.

Washington Insider

  • After hearing Tuesday from three people who listened in on President Trump's July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine, lawmakers will take testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who helped to coordinate efforts in Ukraine with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Sondland will certainly have to address a phone call he supposedly made from a restaurant in Ukraine - on an unsecured cell phone - where he spoke to President Trump, who made clear he wanted to know if Ukraine was going to announce it had started investigations into the Bidens, and a 2016 conspiracy theory that Ukraine - and not Russia - had hacked Democrats during the elections. “Ambassador Sondland is a big personality,” said former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who testified a day earlier. Follow along with developments here: - 12:35 pm.   Democrats clearly feel today's testimony has played in their favor. 12:30 pm.  Giuliani joins the President in downplaying the role of Sondland. 12:15 pm.  The GOP effort to counter Sondland is to say that he has no evidence to back up his assertions. 12:00 pm.  Here are the comments by President Trump about Sondland as he left the White House today. 11:45 am. The GOP response in the hearing (and outside) is that President Trump never directly told Sondland to do anything. Q: The President never told you about pre-conditions for a White House meeting. Sondland: 'Personally, no.' 11:30 am.  President Trump is now 45 minutes behind schedule for his departure from the White House.  He is headed today to Texas. 11:25 am.  Nunes starts the GOP time by focusing not on anything Sondland said in his testimony so far today, focusing on Republican allegations that Ukraine was 'out to get him' during the 2016 elections. First question from Nunes on this line. Sondland: 'I am not aware of it.' Nunes keeps going with more. Sondland: 'I am not aware of it.' 11:20 am.  During the break, Democrats went to the TV cameras stationed outside.  11:15 am.  Again in this impeachment hearing process, viewers on Fox News are getting some different messages. 11:00 am.  A light moment in the hearing, as Sondland says he and President Trump tend to communicate with words that probably aren't for kids. 10:47 am.  On the Drudge Report.  It's not the greatest of headlines for the President on what's usually a favorable website. 10:45 am. Sondland said the President and Giuliani wanted Ukraine to publicly announce the Burisma / Bidens / Crowdstrike-2016 investigations. But Sondland says that doesn't mean Ukraine actually had to undertake the investigations. 10:35 am.  Critics of the President in Congress say the testimony today from Sondland is a big, big deal. 10:20 am. Sondland says Secretary of State Pompeo was up to date with the Giuliani/Trump efforts all along. Sondland says he raised the delay in aid with Vice President Pence on September 1.  10:15 am.  Sondland has finished with his opening statement.  There is a lot of explosive testimony there, especially Sondland saying that 'everyone was in the loop' about the President seeking investigations from Ukraine. 10:05 am.  Was there a quid pro quo involving Ukraine?  Sondland says, in one sense, the answer is yes. 10:00 am.  Sondland says he was surprised to see the rough transcript of the July 25 call the President had with the leader of Ukraine, because he had not been told about the fact that President Trump mentioned investigations related to Biden/Burisma/Crowdstrike in the call. 9:50 am.  Sondland repeatedly says that State Department officials wanted no part of Giuliani being involved in diplomatic work.  But the President did.  So, they had to play the hand they were dealt (Sondland's description). 9:40 am.  Democrats immediately seize on the 'quid pro quo' description by Sondland.  9:27 am.  Sondland uses the term “quid pro quo” to describe what was going on at three different points in his prepared testimony. 9:25 am.  Sondland will also show that Vice President Pence was in that loop as well. 9:20 am.  Sondland says multiple times - “Everyone was in the loop.” 9:15 am.  Sondland says it has been difficult to come up with answers because the White House and State Department have not helped him get documents and phone records. 9:10 am.  The hearing is underway.  Sondland's statement is going to provide some interesting moments in questioning from both parties.  Here is the Ambassador's recount of the July 26 unsecured cell call to President Trump from a restaurant in Kyiv. 9:00 am - The opening statement of Sondland is now available at the following link. 8:40 am.  Someone asked me on Facebook what the advantage is of actually being in the hearing room.  In one way, it is being a witness to history.  But not seeing the TV feed could put you at a disadvantage, as many others watch every facial twitch, frown, and smile on the faces of the witnesses and lawmakers.  When I got here into the room this morning, I found the still photographers had taken my power plug spot, and a TV crew has taken my audio feed. So, I had to deal with that, and switch things around. If I were back in my booth in either the House or Senate side of the Capitol, everything would be just fine. I could stand, go to the bathroom, have lunch,  etc.  Here is my “view” of the dais. 8:10 am.  The folks at Fox and Friends do not buy the testimony that President Trump talks loud and could be overheard on his cell phone. 8:00 am.  A reminder of the testimony so far, is that Sondland called up President Trump from a restaurant in Ukraine, and spoke to him on an unsecured cell phone.  In that call, US embassy staffer David Holmes testified that he could easily hear the President's voice, and hear what was being discussed with Sondland - investigations - which Mr. Trump wanted from the Ukraine government. The Holmes testimony can be found at this link. 7:50 am.  The Sondland phone call with President Trump is going to get a lot of attention today - and rightfully so. 7:45 am.  Most readers probably know Sondland's name from the impeachment / Ukraine controversy, but don't really know all of the details.  There's some interesting stuff which has GOP lawmakers a bit uneasy, because the script today may not be that obvious at first. 7:35 am.  It's not just Gordon Sondland testifying today, starting at 9 am.  And there is another hearing on Thursday.  Like Tuesday, it would be no surprise for me if the hearings are still going at 8 pm - which is when the Democratic debate in Atlanta is set to begin.  That would a split screen political Super Bowl.