- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2019

A young girl believed to be from India was found dead on the U.S. side of the border in Arizona Wednesday, and authorities say she was likely forced into making the remote crossing by smugglers.

Two adult women from India who were apprehended said they were part of a group of five that had been brought to the border by smugglers then ordered to cross in the desert west of Lukeville, a border crossing point.

The group got separated, the two women said.

Border Patrol agents went looking for the other three and quickly found the remains of the dead girl. Based on the information from the women, they believe the girl was 7 years old, and also from India.

Another young child and an adult woman are still missing, though agents said they spotted footprints and believe the two may have headed back to Mexico.

U.S. and Mexican authorities have searched, but as of Thursday night said they had not located anyone else from the group.

Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the border, said temperatures on Wednesday reached 108 degrees in the remote desert region where the group was dropped off.

“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.”

Reports of deaths of migrants during the journey across the border have surged in recent weeks — though they get far less attention than deaths that occur of migrants in U.S. custody.

Last week in Texas, smugglers driving a Chevrolet Suburban with 18 illegal immigrants in it crashed the vehicle.

Six of the migrants died, and nine others had to be rushed to the hospital.

The smugglers abandoned the vehicle and the migrants, who were from Mexico or Central America.

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