LA MORA, Mexico — The first of two funeral services began Thursday for one of the women and two of her young children ambushed and killed by cartel members in a remote mountainous region in Sonora.

Family members and friends of Dawna Langford, 43, and her two children, Trevor Langford, 11, and Rogan Langford, 2, honored their memory during an emotional service in the close-knit community of La Mora. Hundreds of people from the U.S. and Mexico showed up, packing row after row of seats set up in Langford’s front yard.

Family members carried the three wooden caskets out from the house to the front yard, with the smallest casket for 2-year-old Rogan coming out last. For more than 30 minutes, relatives paid their respects before the service began. Several of Langford’s 13 children shared memories of their mother and two siblings killed in Monday’s attack. 

They described Langford as a caring mother who loved her coffee. Trever and Rogan were recalled as “two beautiful boys.” 

Bryce Langford, the second oldest of her children, said he felt helpless when he heard about the ambush. He was in North Dakota at the time, more than 1,500 miles away. Even before hearing any news on whether his family was OK, he got in his truck and began driving, praying to God to protect the family.

Three of Dawna Langford’s youngest children continue to recover at UMC from wounds they sustained in the ambush. Xander, 4, was shot in the back, while 4-month-old Brixton was shot in the chest. Both are in stable condition and “are doing well,” one relative said.

Their 8-year-old brother, Cody, was shot in the jaw and leg. He underwent surgery on Wednesday and is expected to have several other procedures to reconstruct his jaw, according to the family.

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