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Border agents: Harsh desert claims lives of 4 men

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Border agents: Harsh desert claims lives of 4 men

Last month, Border Patrol found 19 dead bodies

  • Empty water bottles found in the desert in an area traveled by illegal immigrants (file photo).
    nebarnix/FlickrEmpty water bottles found in the desert in an area traveled by illegal immigrants (file photo).

In separate incidents over the weekend, Border Patrol agents found four dead men in the desert. A pregnant woman was located near Sells, sitting near her dead husband's body, while bodies were also found near Lukeville and Queens Well.

Each of the men "perished as a result of exposure to the harsh desert environment," said a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release. All of the dead men were believed to be illegal immigrants, the agency said.

Casa Grande Station agents working near Sells on Saturday found a pregnant Guatemalan woman, dehydrated and in need of medical attention, sitting with her deceased husband. The couple had crossed the border two days earlier and had been abandoned by their smuggler when the husband collapsed, CBP said.

Later in the day, Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue agents located the remains of a male near Queens Well on the Tohono O’odham Nation. The man appeared to be in his twenties, the agency said.

In both incidents, the Tohono O’odham Police Department responded to investigate.

'Those unable to keep up are left behind to die.'

Saturday evening, Ajo Station agents located a third deceased male northwest of Lukeville. The man, about 30-35 years old, was found lying on the ground naked "in an apparent desperate attempt to cool down," the Border Patrol said. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department took control of the scene, CBP said.

Early Sunday, 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, CBP said.

Agents located one deceased Mexican male in the area. Tohono O’odham police were investigating, CBP said.

Customs and Border Protection warned of the danger of crossing the Sonoran Desert in the summer:

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.  

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