Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents recovered the bodies of two migrants who died after being abandoned in the 100-plus degree heat of the Arizona desert. Agents rescued a third migrant who managed to call for help.
Welton Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a 50-year-old man about 5:00 a.m. on July 5 who illegally crossed the border from Mexico with a group guided by a human smuggler. Agents reported the man told them two other people in his group had been left behind by their human smuggler, according to information obtained from Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agents began a search an rescue operation and tracked the other migrants in an effort to rescue them from the heat of the Arizona desert. bout two hours later agents encountered the body of a deceased migrant with no identification near the Copper Mountains, officials stated.
Agents called for assistance from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and others to assist in the search for the third man. Border Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents joined in the search in addition to an Air and Marine Operations helicopter aircrew from the Yuma Air Branch.
Shortly after noon, the aircrew in the EC120 helicopter picked up signs of discarded clothing, food, and a cell phone that were thrown off by the migrant in distress from the heat. The missing man also wrote “HELP” on the ground and drew an arrow pointing north, officials stated. The aircrew located the man lying motionless on the ground about five hours later. Agents determined the migrant was deceased.
Border Patrol officials turned the bodies of the two decedents over to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.
“This loss of life is another sobering reminder of the dangers associated with illegally crossing our border, especially as the desert experiences extreme temperatures,” Wellton Station Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge Joseph Remenar said in a written statement. “Transnational criminal organizations continue to prioritize profit over human life, even as the men and women of the Wellton Station work tirelessly to prevent these unfortunate deaths.”