Trigger warning: death, violence
A seven-month-old baby, who was found unharmed in the back of an SUV after her family was ambushed and gunned down on their way to a wedding in northern Mexico, has finally been reunited with her father.
The attack by suspected Mexican drug cartel gunmen left three women and six children dead, while eight other children survived. Five of the children reportedly suffered bullet wounds, according to media reports. Mexico's security minister said the gunmen may have targeted the group in a case of mistaken identity. However, family members believed it was a revenge killing, perpetrated because the families had spoken out about cartel violence and received threats in the past.
Faith was strapped into her car seat on the floor of one of the three SUVs that was attacked in a mountainous area near the Sonora-Chihuahua border. Her mother, 33-year-old Christina Langford Johnson, died during the ambush. The baby’s grandmother posted the baby's touching reunion with her father on Facebook. “God is so good for sparing her life,” she wrote on Facebook. “She is a living angel and has brought hope to our family.”
Johnson managed to hide her baby on the floor and get out of the car to show the gunmen that she was unarmed. The young mother’s body was found about 15 yards away from the SUV. Luckily, Baby Faith was able to survive unharmed for about 12 hours until relatives found her in the back of the vehicle. They had been alerted by two of the older children after the shooting. The children had walked more than 10 miles back to La Mora, a town in Sonora founded by fundamentalist branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The funerals for Johnson as well as Dawna Ray Langford and Rhonita Maria LeBaron Miller and their children, who were killed in the attack, were expected to take place this week. All three families belonged to the LDS church and had dual US and Mexican citizenship.
Sonora state in northern Mexico is the war zone of two rival gangs, La Línea, which is linked to the larger Juárez cartel, and Los Chapos, which belongs the Sinaloa cartel. Mexican investigators said one person had been arrested and was being investigated for their possible involvement in the attack. The suspect was located in the border town of Agua Prieta with numerous weapons and two hostages inside a vehicle, the Associated Press reported.