Girl, 10, declared 6th known child to die after US border detention

HOUSTON (AP/CNN) — U.S. authorities say a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died last year after being detained by border authorities in a previously unreported case.

The death marks the sixth known case in the last year. It predates the deaths of five other migrant children, all from Guatemala, CNN reports.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that the 10-year-old died on Sept. 29 at an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital of fever and respiratory distress.

Spokesman Mark Weber said the department began caring for the unidentified girl in March 2018. Weber said the girl was "medically fragile," with a history of congenital heart defects.

He also said she had surgery complications that left her in a comatose state, prior to her death, according to CNN.

Weber did not say when the girl entered the U.S. or whether a parent or adult accompanied her. HHS provides care to children the government considers unaccompanied.

Officials say they prepared a statement for “appropriate officials” at the time of her death, but media was not on the list of people who needed to be notified.

The deaths of immigrant children in U.S. government custody have sparked calls for investigations and changes to Trump administration policy. Weber said the department was committed to protecting the children in its custody.

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