Three Migrant Bodies Found in as Many Days near Texas Border

Brooks County Sheriff's Office deputies recover the remains of a migrant who died after being abandoned by human smugglers. (Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office/Deputy Robert Castanon)
Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office/Deputy Robert Castanon

Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement recovered the remains of three migrants who died near the Texas border with Mexico. Two occurred in Brooks County, about 80 miles from the border.

Mission Police Department officers notified Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents about the discovery on Monday of a deceased migrant in a canal. McAllen Station agents responded to the scene and found the body of a Mexican national who apparently drowned after illegally crossing, according to Rio Grande Valley Sector officials. A local justice of the peace made the statutory declaration and agents arranged for transportation of the body to the Hidalgo County Morgue.

Later that day, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received information about the discovery of skeletal remains on a ranch located about 80 miles inland. The Border Patrol operates an immigration checkpoint in the middle of the county on U.S. Highway 285. Human smugglers frequently force migrants to march around the checkpoint and pick up the ones who successfully complete the trek north of the checkpoint.

Dispatchers sent a deputy to meet Border Patrol agents at the ranch where they found the skeletal remains of a migrant who died after being abandoned. Local officials gathered the remains and arranged transportation to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office for possible identification and return to the migrant’s family.

Two days earlier, Kingsville Station Border Patrol agents tracking a group of migrants on a ranch near U.S. Highway 285 discovered another set of remains in the same county. The deputies contacted the sheriff’s office to arrange recovery.

Dispatchers sent Deputy Robert Castanon to the ranch to meet Border Patrol agents at the scene of the migrant’s death. There, Castanon observed a skull and “other unidentified skeletal remains,” according to information provided by the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office.

A local justice of the peace made the statutory death pronouncement and the deputy turned the remains over to a representative of the Texas State University Anthropology Department.

So far this year, 40 migrants died while being smuggled through this single Texas county, Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas. Deaths of migrants in Brooks County account for nearly 12 percent of all migrant deaths along the entire southwest border with Mexico.

This year, at least 340 migrants died while or shortly after illegally crossing the border from Mexico, according to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrant Project. At least 214 of those deaths occurred in Texas — approximately 90 in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters in El Paso on Tuesday, that Congress must act to close the loopholes that are attracting the massive number of migrants who illegally crossed the border this year.

“The families that are coming, and the kids, they’re being abused,” Morgan said. “These cartels and human smuggling organizations, they’re not even dealing with these individuals as humans. They’re dealing with them as a commodity. It’s disgusting and that should bother us all.”

“This population that’s looking for a better life is being abused every single day by these cartels — getting rich on their backs,” the commissioner expressed. “We should all want to stop that.”

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 Facebook.

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