CHILD survivors of the Mexico drug cartel massacre may “never recover” from their traumatising ordeal, it's feared.
Concerns are growing for the welfare of the kids who survived the atrocity on Monday but watched their mothers and siblings horribly dying.
The nine American women and children killed in northern Mexico were victims of a territorial dispute between an arm of the Sinaloa Cartel and a rival gang, officials said
Hitmen opened fire on the three mothers and 14 children on Monday as they drove from a village in Sonora for a wedding in neighbouring Chihuahua state and Phoenix, Arizona.
The three mums were slaughtered along with six kids.
Rebecca Langford, a sister-in-law of Dawna Langford, one of the three mothers slain on Monday, was today visiting the wounded children in hospital, which included an injured baby.
Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune ahead of funerals today, Rebecca said: "They won’t ever recover from something as traumatising as this because how can you recover from watching your dear mother and brothers gunned down in front of your eyes?"
As bullets began to pummel the first car on Monday afternoon, a white Chevrolet Suburban, Christina Marie Langford Johnson stepped out waving her arms to show that they were not gang members, according to a family statement based on reports from the surviving children.
Christina was shot dead. Her baby, Faith, survived the attack in a child seat that her mother appeared to have placed on the floor before she got out.
They won’t ever recover from something as traumatising as this because how can you recover from watching your dear mother and brothers gunned down in front of your eyes
Gunfire also ripped into a second white Suburban, carrying Dawna Langford and nine children, about a mile back, authorities said.
Dawna and two sons were killed.
Reuters video of the vehicle showed more than a dozen bullet holes in the roof and sides of the vehicle. Inside, blood was smeared across seats and children's toys.
A third car, 11 miles behind, was shot up and burst into flames, killing Rhonita Miller and her four children.
SURVIVING KIDS LEFT TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES
Eight children survived, five with bullet wounds.
But with all their parents dead, the survivors were left among the wreckage and burning corpses of their loved ones to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile Devin Blake Langford, 13, who watched his mother and two brothers die walked for six hours in a rugged expanse of northern Mexico to get help.
A family statement said: "After witnessing his mother and brothers being shot dead, Dawna (Langford)'s son Devin hid his six other siblings in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help.”
Many Americans who moved to the area will probably end up fleeing because of the violence, Steven Langford, a former mayor of La Mora said.
His sister Christina was one of those killed. Steven said: "It was a massacre, 100 percent a massacred.
“I don't know how it squares with the conscience of someone to do something so horrible.”
The victims came from prominent local families, including the LeBarons, Millers and Langfords.
Nestled in the fertile valleys of the Sierra Madre mountains just a few hours drive south from the US border, the oldest communities stem from the late 1800s, when upheaval over polygamy in the Utah-based church led to their founding.
The Mormon community has had a troubled past, with ties to a notorious sex-cult and a polygamous “Mormon Manson”.
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