A seven-year-old girl was found dead in the Arizona desert 17 miles west of Lukeville, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. Agents believe the girl was a citizen of India. The girl had reportedly been traveling with four other people dropped near the U.S. border by human smugglers, who ordered the group to cross the border. Border Patrol agents in Tucson said agents learned the information from two adult women from India, who explained how they had come to the United States, and how three other people, a woman and two children, had become separated from them hours earlier.
When the first two women were found, agents began searching the area north of the border in remote terrain, about seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs. They found the girl's remains a few hours into the search. Footprints in the area indicated the remaining two people crossed back into Mexico. Late Thursday night, the two missing people, a woman and her 8-year-old daughter, were found when they crossed the border back into the United States and surrendered to agents. They were taken to a local hospital and treated for dehydration, a Border Patrol press release said.
The girl's remains were found one mile south of Mexico's Highway 2, which runs parralel to the border. On the U.S. side of the border, the remote area is a rugged desert wilderness with few backcountry roads and few resources. According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature in the area yesterday was approximately 108 degrees.
“Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” said Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal in the news release.. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk."