Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents made a grisly discovery on Sunday, June 23, when they found the bodies of three children and a young woman near the Rio Grande in southern Texas, according to local officials.
In a late tweet on June 23, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said they found two infants, one toddler, and a 20-year-old woman by the river in the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area southeast of Anzalduas Park—a hotspot for illegal immigrant crossings, patrol agents told CBS News.
“Deputies are on scene by the river SE of the Anzalduas Park in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area where Border Patrol agents located 4 deceased bodies. Bodies appear to be 2 infants, a toddler, and 20yoa female,” Guerra said in his tweet, adding that the FBI is expected to take over and lead the investigation.
No details about their cause of death or identifies have been released.
BREAKING NEWS: Deputies are on scene by the river SE of the Anzalduas Park in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area where Border Patrol agents located 4 deceased bodies. Bodies appear to be 2 infants, a toddler and 20yoa female. Deputies are awaiting FBI agents who will be leading. pic.twitter.com/2qPCYDjZBu
— Sheriff Eddie Guerra (@SheriffGuerra) June 24, 2019
The bodies were found in a location locally known as “El Rincón del Diablo,” or the “Devil’s Corner.” It is an area with low visibility, especially after the sun has gone down, and is frequented by smugglers due to its proximity to Mexico, reported The Monitor.
“There’s a lot of brush. It’s like ranchland; there’s no difference,” Constable Larry Gallardo told the newspaper.
News about the bodies’ discovery came hours after Guerra warned about the dangerously high temperatures in the Brownsville and Rio Grande Valley area.
“Dangerous heat advisory is effective from noon to 8pm today,” Guerra wrote on Twitter. “Avoid outdoor activities but if you can’t please drink plenty of water or sport drinks, use sunscreen and wear light colored clothing.”
Dangerous heat advisory is effective from noon to 8pm today. Avoid outdoor activities but if you can’t please drink plenty of water or sport drinks, use sunscreen and wear light colored clothing. pic.twitter.com/gUAaky70wq
— Sheriff Eddie Guerra (@SheriffGuerra) June 23, 2019
In response to the discovery, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in a tweet, “Sadly, this is what happens when infants are used as a ticket to enter the US due to arcane laws.”
“Inaction is not an option,” he added.
Sadly, this is what happens when infants are used as a ticket to enter the US due to arcane laws. Inaction is not an option. My bipartisan #HUMANE ACT with @RepCuellar will stop this and provide a safer alternative for qualified asylum seekers. https://t.co/yP7bCwNjQz
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) June 24, 2019
Similarly, on June 12, CBP said they had found the body of a 7-year-old girl, who they say was abandoned after she died while illegally crossing a remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Officials believed the girl from India died after human smugglers forced her and a group of illegal immigrants to cross a section of the border in Arizona. Her body was found early June 12, about 17 miles west of Lukeville, according to a statement.
“This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk,” said Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal. “Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family.”
A deceased child, believed to be a seven-year-old citizen of India, was discovered 17 miles west of Lukeville by U.S. Border Patrol yesterday morning. Bi-national search for anyone associated continues. @CBP #TucsonSector Details: https://t.co/tQAxifezk5 pic.twitter.com/XBJkDpJH02
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) June 13, 2019
CBP has repeatedly warned about the dangers of making the trek through Mexico and crossing the southern border illegally into the United States.
“Criminal organizations continue to exploit innocent human lives in order to enhance their illicit activities without due regard to the risks of human life,” the CBP said in a previous statement. “In most cases these smugglers never cross the border themselves in order to avoid apprehension.”
CBP data has shown record highs in the apprehension of illegal aliens at the border. In May, border patrol agents detained more than 132,000 people crossing from Mexico—the highest level since 2006. Moreover, during the first seven months of the 2019 fiscal year, 531,711 illegal aliens crossed the border into the United States, according to CBP data.
These numbers have overwhelmed the U.S. immigration system, recently prompting President Donald Trump to pressure Mexico to take action to stem the flow of migrants using the country as passage to the United States. Trump announced on May 30 that he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods to stem the influx of illegal immigrants.
The two countries subsequently reached a deal to avoid the tariffs that would see an expanded implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy and an increase in security throughout the country.