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CBP: Girl From India Dies in Desert on Way to US

Death took place in 'dangerous and austere location' in Arizona
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2019 6:18 AM CDT
This Feb. 17, 2006, file photo shows the international border line made up of steel poles, separating Mexico, left, from the United States near Lukeville, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
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(Newser) – The body of a 7-year-old girl believed to be from India was found this week in a remote part of the Arizona desert just over the border with Mexico, a death that a Border Patrol official is calling "senseless," reports the Daily Beast. Per a Customs and Border Protection statement, Border Patrol agents ran into two Indian women in an area near Lukeville, and those women said they'd originally been with another woman and two children but had been separated from them hours earlier. The five migrants had been reportedly dropped off near the border by smugglers, who then had them cross over the border in the "dangerous and austere location." The statement goes on to describe it as "rugged desert wilderness with few backcountry roads and little to no resources."

After taking those two women into custody, Border Patrol agents started searching for their three missing companions and came across the little girl's remains on Wednesday morning; it was said to have been as hot as 108 degrees in that area on that day. Meanwhile, the agents also spotted footprints that seemed to suggest the other two people the girl was with had turned around and gone back into Mexico. "Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family," said a statement from the Border Patrol agent heading up the Tucson Sector. "This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk." CNN notes that the number of people from India trying to enter the US via its borders has gone up over the years, reaching 9,000 in 2018; in 2017, it was just 3,100, while in 2009, it was just over 200. (Read more child death stories.)

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