A suspect was arrested and is under investigation for possible connections with the tragic deaths of nine American citizens in a massacre in Mexico on Tuesday.
The tragic slayings involved three mothers and six children, including twin infants, who were gunned down, some of them trapped and torched in blazing cars.
The group had been traveling to a wedding when they were killed in the attack by drug cartel gunmen.
Relatives say one seven-month-old baby girl is still alive because of her mother’s sacrifice.
She was found alive on the floorboard of the car, put there by her mother in her final moments.
Kendra Lee Miller, a relative of the victims wrote on Facebook, “Somehow she had remained untouched, and alive. She was in her car seat, which looked to have been hurriedly placed on the floor of the vehicle by her mother for protection.”
Devin Langford, the 13-year-old who lost his mother in the attack, hid six of his siblings in the bushes and then walked 14 miles for help.
The boy’s aunt called him a hero after hiding his bleeding siblings in the bushes and then covering them with branches.
“He basically saw the cartel shooting. There were like 60 people shooting at them from all over the mountains and the little kids decided to get the kids away from where they were shooting and go into the bushes – that was courageous,” she said.
Officials are calling the attack a case of mistaken identity. They believe the gunmen may have initially thought the women’s three SUVs belonged to a rival drug gang. But they continued with the attack, even though the vehicles only contained women and children.
The victims were part of a religious settlement living in northern Mexico.
President Trump tweeted “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. We merely await a call from your great new president!”
The Washington Examiner reports that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected Trump’s offer and said he will respond “independently and asserting our sovereignty.”
Obrador’s policy toward the drug gangs is referred to as “hugs not bullets.”
A spokesperson for the US Department of State called the massacre a “horrific act of violence,” according to ABC News.
“The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and welfare of US citizens abroad,” the spokesperson added. “When a US citizen is missing or passes away overseas, we engage with local officials at multiple levels and provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
No further information has been released on the suspect.
Mexico’s Ministerial Agency for Criminal Investigations (AMIC) wrote on Facebook, “The possibility that this detained person has participated in these unfortunate events is being analyzed.”