CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- Authorities have questioned multiple suspects in connection with the murders of eight members of a family including three young children. All were bound and stabbed. Some were attacked with a machete.
“It’s the first case we’ve seen like this where the victims are so young, “ said Juan Martinez Aldame, a homicide investigator.
Many of the officers called to the scene of Sunday’s massacre were visibly shaken when they left the house.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure the people who did this pay for their crimes, “said Martinez, one of the investigators who canvassed the neighborhood Monday.
He and other officers went door to door questioning neighbors who live near the home where eight bodies were discovered.
Authorities said some of the adults were killed with a machete. All the victims had tape over their mouths.
The victims included three women aged 60, 27 and 30 years old and two men aged 40 and 27.
A six-year-old boy and two four-year-old girls also died in the attack. A three-month baby girl is the only survivor. She was not harmed.
“They were religious people, Jehovah Witnesses,” said Berta Lucio, who was visiting her mother when she heard about the killings in the neighborhood. “Now, I’m afraid since she lives alone.”
Fellow church members who gathered at the home concealed their faces and did not want to comment on the killings.
Investigators suspect robbery may be a motive. One of the victims, Maximo Martin Romero, 27, sold used cars at the home where he lived with his wife and three children. And authorities say he may have had cash on hand.
Martin's wife and two children ages six and four were among those killed. His baby daugther survived.
Martin's brother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her 4-year-old daughter all died in the attack.
Several used cars and trucks with prices marked on their windows were parked in the driveway. Investigators say there was no sign of forced entry.
The number of murders in Ciudad Juarez has declined sharply but residents say violent crime has spiked in some neighborhoods.
A caller on a radio program complained that the city has not hired a new police chief to replace the outgoing chief Julian Leyzaola who left when the new mayor took office in early October.
At an afternoon press conference the the mayor announced a reward of $300,000 pesos (about $24,000) for information that could lead to the arrest of the killers.
This new level of brutality has shocked many in a border city that has experienced so much bloodshed.
“We bring our children into the world and then someone just kills them” said Mayra Marquez, a young mother who along with her husband was pushing a stroller down the street where the family was massacred.
She said in violent crime remains a problem in the area.
“It calms down for a little while and then starts up again,” Marquez said.