Christina Johnson “saved” her baby daughter as at least nine members of a Mormon family were slaughtered in northern Mexico, say relatives.
Christina Johnson is 31 years old and at least eight relatives – including six children died when they were shot by drug cartel members.
The victims – members of the LeBaron family, a break-away Mormon community that settled in northern Mexico – were on their way to a wedding and travelling in three SUVs.
Ms Johnson was found dead in her car, but her daughter Faith, aged about seven months, was found alive after being “thrown on the floor” in the back of the Chevrolet Suburban, according to family.
Three mums and six children, including twin babies, died as gunmen opened fire and one of the vehicles exploded.
Faith was rescued after spending hours inside the car with her mother’s dead body.
Initially, the mum and daughter were reported missing after their car was hijacked and it was feared both were dead.
But Faith was found alive when the vehicle was discovered abandoned.
“She was found thrown on the floor. She seems to not have any immediate life threatening injuries.”
Five of the victims were named locally as mum Rhonita Maria LeBaron is 33 years, her six-month-old twin babies, Titus and Tiana, and two of her other children – Krystal is 8 and Howard is 10 years old.
Dawna Langford, 43, and two of her children were also killed, according to family members.
The massacre happened as the three mothers and 14 children travelled in a convoy from Bavispe, in the state of Sonora, to the Mormon community of LaBaron, in the neighbouring state of Chihuahua.
The LeBarons are an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Heavily-armed soldiers and national police officers responded to the incident to secure the area and hunt for the gunmen.
The governments of Chihuahua and Sonora states, both of which border the United States, said an investigation had been launched.
Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich called the killers “cowards” and vowed that they would be caught and punished.
She tweeted: “I don’t know what kind of monsters dare to hurt women and children.”
However, members of this same family have been murdered in the past.