Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents found the lifeless body of a seven-year-old Indian girl after other migrants reported her missing in the Arizona desert. The migrants also reported the girl’s mother and sister missing. Agents eventually found them safe.
“Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said in a written statement. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk.”
Agents patrolling the border west of the Lukeville Port of Entry apprehended two women from India who had entered the U.S. illegally at the direction of human smugglers in Mexico. The callous smugglers dropped a group of Indian nationals just south of the border and ordered them to cross the border in this “dangerous and austere location,” according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials.
The two Indian women told the agents that a woman and her two children became separated from them a few hours earlier. Agents began an immediate search of the remote and desolate location about seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs, Arizona. Border Patrol agents solicited the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and Army National Guard helicopter crews to help prosecute the search and rescue operation. Within hours, deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department found the body of the deceased seven-year-old girl.
The search continued as Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue agents along with agents from the Ajo Station and Bureau of Land Management personnel joined in the search for the mother and the other missing child. Agents eventually found tracks indicating the two missing subjects had crossed back into Mexico. Border Patrol officials notified Mexican authorities who also joined in the search.
Border Patrol agents eventually found the mother and the eight-year-old girl when they again illegally crossed the border back into the U.S. A helicopter aircrew transported the mother and child to a regional hospital for treatment for dehydration.
Officials said that one mile south of where they found the girl’s body is Mexico’s Highway 2. The highway runs within a few hundred yards of the international boundary that is protected only by vehicle barriers in this area. It has been the scene of many dropoffs of large groups of migrants.
The National Weather Service reports that the temperature on the day the family was dropped off by smugglers reached a high of 108 degrees.
So far this year, at least 141 migrants have lost their lives while crossing or shortly after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrant Project. More than forty of those occurred along the Arizona border.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face