John and Wanda Casias moved to their home just to the north of the industrial city of Monterrey, Mexico in 1979 where they acted as missionaries until Wednesday when they were slain in their home.
According to eldest child Valerie Alirez the couple were found by one of her brothers in their Santiago, Nuevo Leon home.
Originally from Amarillo, Texas they moved to Mexico so John Casias could serve as a Baptist preacher. John and Wanda founded the First Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church in Santiago.
Brother Shawn Casias who still lives in Monterrey said he went to his parents’ home at approximately 4 p.m. and when he entered the home Wanda Casias was lying on the floor with an electrical cord around her neck and a gash on her head.
The murders appear to have been part of a robbery with several computers missing along with a plasma TV and a safe that was chiseled out of the wall. Also missing was the couple’s Chevrolet Suburban.
The body of John Casias was found several hours after investigators began examining the property. John’s body was discovered inside a small building on the property.
Violence in the area has grown to astronomical levels in the last several years as the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels battle for territory in the region.
According to Shawn it’s likely that the criminals saw him coming from the families winding road because they chose to leave behind three TV sets and other items of potential value.
This wasn’t the first time the family has had trouble in the area, their home was burglarized two years ago when the couple were visiting the United States to talk with other churches about their work in Mexico.
An official investigation is ongoing at this time.