Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents received information from a rancher about the remains of a deceased person found on a ranch located about 50 miles from the Texas-Mexico border.
Agents assigned to the Freer Station received a call about what appeared to be a deceased migrant. The agents responded to the scene along with deputies from the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, according to Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials.
The rancher took the agents and the sheriff’s deputies to the migrant’s remains. The deputies secured the scene while they awaited the arrival of the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office, who would conduct the initial death investigation.
The examiner found no immediate evidence that would provide information about the deceased migrant’s nationality or identity, officials stated.
The Webb County Sheriff’s Office and the medical examiner will conduct an investigation to determine the identity of the person who died after apparently becoming lost on the ranch.
Human smugglers frequently march migrants through ranches to get around Border Patrol immigration checkpoints. When a migrant becomes weak, injured, ill, or otherwise cannot keep up, the smugglers will leave them behind to die.
This fate awaited another migrant in August when Freer Station agents received word about a person who smugglers left behind. The informant told agents the migrant became ill and their guide forced them to leave the man, Breitbart News reported.
The agents coordinated with a helicopter aircrew and conducted a search for the missing migrant that lasted for about 14 hours, officials stated. They eventually found the man, but not before he succumbed to the heat.
So far this year, at least 217 migrants died in South Texas after illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Nearly 70 of those died in the Laredo Sector, according to the International Organization of Migrants’ Missing Migrant Project.
Nationally, the group reports that 357 migrants died along the entire southwest U.S.-Mexico Border. This is up from 318 during the same period in 2017 — an increase of more than 12 percent.