TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Border Patrol said a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were found late Thursday, June 13 near Lukeville.
Customs and Border Protection said the duo, both from India, crossed the border and surrendered to agents. Both were suffering from dehydration and transported to a local hospital.
The update came one day after CBP reported the death of a 7-year-old from India. The child’s body was found 17 miles west of Lukeville.
CBP said the girl had reportedly been traveling with four others dropped near the international boundary by smugglers who ordered them to cross in the dangerous and austere location.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents learned this information after encountering two adult women from India, who explained how they had come to the United States, and three others, a woman and two children, had become separated from them 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 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.
Aircraft and helicopters from National Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations were called out to expand the search, while additional agents from Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Unit, the Ajo Border Patrol Station, and personnel from the Bureau of Land Management combed the area on foot.
One mile south of the where the girl’s body was found, Mexico’s Highway 2 runs parallel to the border, a few hundred yards south of the international boundary. On the U.S. side of the border, this remote area is a rugged desert wilderness with few backcountry roads and little to no resources.
According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature in the area Tuesday was approximately 108 degrees.
“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.”
CBP said it encourages those in distress to dial 911, or activate a rescue beacon. Individuals can report suspicious activity and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435.