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Sat, Sept. 25

Memorial held in Cottonwood for 3 children who died in flash flood due to monsoon weather in Mexico

Two girls, ages 6 and 4, along with a 6-month-old boy, died Aug. 16, 2021, when they were swept away out of their car by flood waters due to a monsoon storm in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. (Elva Cruz/Courtesy)

Two girls, ages 6 and 4, along with a 6-month-old boy, died Aug. 16, 2021, when they were swept away out of their car by flood waters due to a monsoon storm in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. (Elva Cruz/Courtesy)

COTTONWOOD — Family and friends gathered Friday night at Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood for the memorial of three children who died last week after being swept away by flood waters caused by monsoon weather in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.

Two girls, Nomeli, 6, and Azirah, 4, along with their 6-month-old baby brother Jayden, lost their lives after the car they were traveling in with their mother, former Cottonwood resident and Mingus Union High School graduate Luz (Aidee Ruiz) Barraza, 24, was swept away by a flash flood Aug. 16 caused by a monsoon storm in Agua Prieta, according to a Tucson Star report.

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Hundreds of balloons are released into the night's sky Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, as more than 100 people showed up to Riverfront Park to a memorial for three children who lost their lives Aug. 16 to a flash flood. Two girls, ages 6 and 4, along with a 6-month-old boy, died Aug. 16, 2021, when they were swept away out of their car by flood waters due to a monsoon storm in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. (Elva Cruz/Courtesy)

Micah Mendez, father of the two girls, spoke in front of more than 100 people at the memorial Friday, Aug. 20, stating that, “At 16 I became a father.”

“I didn’t really know what to do, except one thing, that was to take care of her,” Mendez said in a video obtained by The Verde Independent. “A year and a half later, I had my second one, I knew I was going to be taking care of them for as long as I could.”

Mendez said he and Barraza, who had been separated, didn’t “really see eye to eye” on a lot of things, “but one thing we did see eye-to-eye was these children and how much we loved them.”

“I don’t know when or how I’m going to get over this, my two beautiful daughters, I just hope that they know I love them. I never stopped loving them,” Mendez continued.

Follow Brian M. Bergner Jr. on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @52MediaWorks. Email him at bbergner@verdenews.com, or call 928-634-2241, ext. 6033.

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Mica Mendez, father of two girls who died during a monsoon-caused flash flood, spoke in front of more than 100 people at the memorial Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. “I don’t know when or how I’m going to get over this, my two beautiful daughters, I just hope that they know I love them. I never stopped loving them,” Mendez said. Two girls, ages 6 and 4, along with a 6-month-old boy, died Aug. 16, 2021, when they were swept away out of their car by flood waters due to a monsoon storm in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. (Elva Cruz video screenshot/Courtesy)

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