Alert Border Patrol agents assigned to Big Bend sector's Sierra Blanca Border Patrol station found an elderly couple missing for nearly three days February 18.
Ricardo and Martha Beltran from El Paso, Texas, both 75-years-old, had been reported missing by family members late Saturday. An active search began in El Paso for the elderly couple after concerned family members contacted the police when the Beltrans did not return home after a routine drive to visit desert areas. During the search for the missing couple, law enforcement agencies became aware of existing medical conditions Ricardo suffered from, increasing the danger the lost couple were in.
While patrolling a rugged area in the vicinity of the Consuelo Ranch, south of Sierra Blanca, Texas, Border Patrol agents noticed the glow of what appeared to be a vehicle in the distance. The agents found a Hyundai Tucson sport utility vehicle in a wash with the Beltrans asleep under a tarp. When awoken, the couple thanked the agents for finding them and stated that they had been lost for some time.
The area where the couple's SUV was stuck was so rugged that Border Patrol agents had to physically carry them to patrol vehicles some distance away. They were then driven to the nearest black top road where an ambulance could meet them. A U.S. Border Patrol emergency medical technician was called to the scene and evaluated the couple while waiting for Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office and an emergency medical service crew from Fort Hancock to arrive.
U.S. Border Patrol agents routinely patrol sparsely populated, isolated, rugged areas in their day-to-day duties. All agents are first responders and trained to assist any traveler regardless of their citizenship. Some agents are trained as emergency medical technicians and can use their training to assist fellow agents and anyone else that may need assistance. Monday night's rescue is a testimony to the dedication of the agents and the challenges that they take on each day.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.