Migrants lead border officials to body of man who died in West Texas wilderness

Border Report

This barren and unwelcoming remote terrain of Hudspeth County, Texas, is where the remains of several migrants have been found, so far this year, county officials told Border Report. (File Photo by the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s office.)

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — First responders have recovered the decomposed remains of an undocumented male migrant in a remote part of Hudspeth County in West Texas.

This is the 14th body found in this unpopulated county on the border with Mexico where no more than four bodies are typically found in any given year, officials told Border Report.

The “badly decomposed” corpse was found Thursday after Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement hiked up a “rough terrain mountain to bring him down,” Hudspeth County Emergency Management Coordinator and County Administrator Joanna MacKenzie said.

Joanna MacKenzie

There was “a makeshift cross beside” it, MacKenzie said.

And it was found on a “well-traveled trail made by illegal traffic and reported by other migrants who came across his body,” she said.

MacKenzie said nearly all of the migrant remains that have been retrieved from rugged and desolate areas were reported by other migrants.

The region has experienced a surge in migration of mostly adult men who are brought through this wilderness by human traffickers in hopes of finding jobs in the United States.

“Locals and law enforcement continue to suspect dozens more bodies are in the desert that will never be found. This is a dangerous area for the most prepared, nonetheless individuals not from the region,” MacKenzie said.

In May, Hudspeth County Judge Thomas Neeley and the county’s commissioners issued a local state of disaster due to what they call an “international border crisis.”

In the disaster declaration, leaders cite that “virtually all individuals apprehended in Hudspeth County are not refugees seeking asylum but instead adult men migrants who are increasingly putting themselves and the public at risk.”

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