Tucson: A seven-year-old Indian girl died in a remort desert area of Arizona while reportedly trying to cross into the United States from Mexico with a group of people, the US Customs and Border Protection has said.
The child’s body was found by the US Border patrol on Wednesday morning, about 27 kilometres west of the city of Lukeville, just over the US-Mexico border.
“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,” the agency said in a statement. “The girl had reportedly been travelling with four others dropped near the international boundary by human smugglers who ordered the group to cross in the dangerous and austere location.”
Border Patrol agents had got the information about the missing girl from two adult women from India, who told them that they had been separated from a woman and her two children hours earlier.
“Agents took the two women into custody and began searching the area north of the international border in remote terrain, seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs, for the missing persons. Within hours, they discovered the little girl’s remains, which were recovered by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department,” the statement read.
The footprints located by the Border Patrol agents late Wednesday night indicate that the remaining two missing people might have crossed back to Mexico.
“CBP and Mexican authorities continue to search the area for any associated persons. At this time, no additional members of the group have been located on either side of the border,” it added.
According to the National Weather Service, the maximum temperature in the area on Wednesday was approximately 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degree Celsius).
“Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” said Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk.”