Missionary Couple Slain in Mexico; drug traffickers suspected

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By Elisabeth Isais

John and Wanda Casias

A married couple who had served for 28 years as Baptist missionaries in Mexico were murdered on Tuesday (Jan. 31) at their home near Monterrey in El Cercado, Santiago, Nuevo Leon.

John Casias, 76, and Wanda Casias, 67, were strangled with electrical cords when intruders broke into their house and stole a safe, televisions and ministry vehicles, along with other items. The area has suffered heavily from attacks by drug cartels in recent weeks, including the murder of the mayor of El Cercado, leading to the tentative conclusion that the crime was committed by people serving narcotics traffickers.

Drug traffickers in Mexico oppose the message of Christ because it turns people away from their business, and thus Christians have been among the targets of the criminals. Christians noted that the assailants would not have needed to kill the missionary couple in order to rob them.

The killers left Wanda Casias dead inside the house, and the body of her husband was reportedly found in a storage room of a small building elsewhere on the property.

They were affiliated with the Global Independent Baptist Fellowship; the couple’s home church is located in Lewisville, Texas.

Their ministry included the founding of churches, beginning with the First Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church in their locality, and they also did work in Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Coahuila, and other parts of the state of Nuevo Leon. Daily vacation Bible schools and youth camps were important aspects of their ministry, and they placed strong emphasis on Bible study and music.

They are survived by 10 children who have reportedly said they hope to continue their parents’ ministry. –Compass Direct News