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Ten immigrants found dead during unseasonably cold weather in the Rio Grande Valley

Release Date: 
December 18, 2017

EDINBURG, Texas –Agents throughout the RGV recovered the remains of an unusually high number of immigrants that perished during the near-freezing temperatures in the last week.

Eight of the ten deceased immigrants were found near Falfurrias, Texas. The remaining two were discovered in Hidalgo and Norias, Texas.

On Thursday, December 14, Falfurrias agents working patrol operations on local ranchlands located a deceased subject in the brush. Agents contacted the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office and the local Justice of the Peace to notify them of the discovery. The body was transported to the medical examiner’s office.

Days earlier, Falfurrias agents responded to the discovery of two deceased subjects on a local ranch. During the recovery, an Air Interdiction agent observed a third deceased subject. Brooks County Sheriff’s Office and the local Justice of the Peace arrived and pronounced the three subjects deceased. All three bodies were transported to a local funeral home.

The additional deceased subjects found were as follows:

  • Saturday, December 9th – Falfurrias, Texas – two deceased subjects discovered near Highway 281 north of the checkpoint.
  • Friday, December 8th – Hidalgo, Texas – unresponsive female discovered by Air and Marine helicopter, pronounced deceased upon arrival to hospital.
  • Thursday, December 7th – Falfurrias, Texas – two deceased subjects discovered by ranchers.
  • Thursday, December 7th – Norias, Texas – distressed subject located who later lost consciousness while receiving medical attention. Subject pronounced deceased at hospital.

"Illegal immigrants are victimized and lied to by smugglers who lead them through treacherous terrain and expose them to extreme conditions,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. “Those unable to keep up are left behind; some are rescued by Border Patrol agents but, tragically, we don’t find others until it is too late.”

RGV Sector urges immigrants not to jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint. The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in our communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us at @CBPRGV.

Last modified: 
December 18, 2017