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CBP Statement: Suspected migrant found deceased after falling off rockface

Release Date: 
June 30, 2021

On June 7, 2021, a Border Patrol camera observed a group of suspected migrants walking in a remote and mountainous area southeast of Arivaca, AZ.  U.S. Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) responded to the area. A couple hours later, one of the BPAs returned to his vehicle and the other BPA continued to search for the group.  As the BPA was walking down the side of a hill with multiple descending rockfaces separated by steep terrain, he encountered and detained one migrant, while other migrants fled the area.  The BPA determined two of the migrants fell off a nearby rockface. The BPA made his way to the bottom of the rockface, approximately 40 feet below, and located the two migrants. One of the migrants suffered multiple injuries and the second migrant was unfortunately declared dead on the scene. A BPA Emergency Medical Technician was inserted by helicopter to render aid to the injured migrant. The injured migrant was eventually litter carried to a life flight and transported to a local hospital where she was treated and released a few days later.

 The deceased migrant was a female citizen of Mexico. The decedent was transported to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. This incident is under review by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility. The Mexican Consulate and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) were also notified of the incident.

 Note: Initial review of the incident did not indicate this to be a death in custody however upon further review the disposition changed, accounting for the delay in posting.

Last modified: 
June 30, 2021