Migrant Found Dead in Arizona Desert Identified as Guatemalan Woman

Undocumented Mexican immigrants walk through the Sonoran Desert after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border border on January 19, 2011 into the Tohono O'odham Nation, Arizona. The immigrants said they had wandered the desert lost for a week after crossing from Mexico into the vast Indian reservation at night. (John Moore/Getty …
File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents found the body of a deceased woman in the Arizona desert on June 13. After a week of investigation with other agencies and foreign governments, they identified the woman as a 23-year-old Guatemalan woman.

Agents found the body of a deceased migrant woman under a tree in the desert near County 19th Street and Avenue 10E in Yuma County on June 13. The agents made the discovery while tracking a group of three migrants who illegally entered the U.S., according to information obtained from Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials.

The agents found a Mexican identification card in the decedent’s possession, officials stated. Mexican officials later said that the identification card was fraudulent. Officials also reached out to Guatemalan officials for help in identifying the woman.

During an investigation, Mexican officials called a phone number found in the deceased woman’s possession. The number went to a family member of a 23-year-old Guatemalan woman. Mexican and Guatemalan officials forwarded that information to U.S. agencies.

A Border Patrol investigation revealed that the woman had been processed by Welton Station agents twice — June 9 and 11. The database contained fingerprints which Border Patrol provided to the Yuma County Coroner’s Office. The coroner matched the fingerprint records to the woman’s body and established a positive preliminary identification.

Two days after the woman’s second encounter with Border Patrol agents, the agents found her deceased in the desert.

“Through collaboration and open lines of communication between the Mexican consulate, Guatemalan consulate, the Yuma County Coroner’s Office, the Yuma SET and the Yuma Sector FOB we were able to make a preliminary positive identification,” said Border Patrol Agent Padilla. The agent serves as the program manager for the Yuma Foreign Operations Branch.

“One of the rewarding aspects of my job is having the opportunity to share the Border Patrol humanitarian efforts and bring closure to the families who have lost a family member,” Padilla said.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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