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Multiple Desert Deaths Discovered by U.S. Border Patrol Agents Over the Weekend

Release Date: 
June 25, 2012

Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents located three dead bodies over the weekend throughout southern Arizona. Each one perished as a result of exposure to the harsh desert environment.

In separate incidents Saturday, agents discovered three deceased subjects, all of whom are believed to be illegal immigrants. Casa Grande Station agents working near Sells, Ariz., located a pregnant female, dehydrated and in need of medical attention, sitting with her deceased husband. The Guatemalan couple had crossed the border two days earlier and had been abandoned by their smuggler when the husband collapsed. Later in the day, Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue agents located the remains of a male near Queens Well, Ariz. The man appeared to be in his twenties. In both incidents, the Tohono O'odham Police Department (TOPD) responded to investigate. In the evening, Ajo Station agents located a third deceased male northwest of Lukeville. The man, approximately 30-35 years old, was found lying on the ground naked in an apparent desperate attempt to cool down. Pima County Sheriff's Office took control of the scene.

In an incident early yesterday, Casa Grande Station agents apprehended a small group of illegal immigrants west of Sells. The group told agents where one man from their group had fallen behind and died. Agents responded to the area and located one deceased Mexican male. TOPD was notified and responded to the scene.

As temperatures increase, the risks associated with crossing the Sonoran Desert cannot be understated. Last month, Border Patrol agents located 19 deceased individuals, a result of blistering temperatures setting in earlier this year and ruthless smugglers who lie to desperate immigrants by telling them they will walk a short distance. In reality, they are forced to walk great distances within short periods of time. Those unable to keep up are left behind to die.

Citizens are encouraged to share these stories with friends and family who may be considering crossing into the country illegally. The high temperatures and increased threat of exposure are only two of the many risks people face when they decide to travel through the desert.

We welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021