Funeral Wednesday for Slain Texas Missionaries

John and Wanda Casias were killed in their Mexico home

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 7:07 AM CDT
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Texas Missionaries Killed in Mexico

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Texas Missionaries Killed in Mexico

John and Wanda Casias were killed in their Mexico home.
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Funeral services for a Texas missionary couple slain in Mexico have been set for Wednesday at their home church in Lewisville.

John Casias and his wife Wanda were found dead Tuesday at their home in a village outside Monterrey, about 95 miles south of the Texas border and in an area plagued by violence.

Their son John said Saturday the couple's funeral would be at 11 a.m. at Liberty Baptist Church in Lewisville.

Mourners already paid respects at the church in Mexico established in the early 1980s by the 76-year-old Casias and his 67-year-old wife.  Both, originally from Amarillo, were strangled with an electrical cord.

No arrests have been announced and Mexican authorities have said the case remains under investigation.

The Casias' slaying comes as mission groups are rethinking how they prepare their volunteers to live in Mexico and other hotspots -- or whether to send them at all.

The cartel-fueled violence in Mexico has made parts of the country so dangerous that mission groups have been forced to dial back outreach efforts and some have cancelled trips.

For those determined to work in Mexico, at least some groups are starting to send volunteers to the same security training camps corporations have used to prepare their employees for risky overseas assignments.

John David Smith is the executive director of the Baptist Missionary Association of America Department of Mission. He says new missionaries with his organization must get security training before heading to Mexico.

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