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Memorial held for child from India who died in the Arizona desert

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jun 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-30 22:19:36-04

TUCSON — A memorial was held Sunday night for 6-year-old Gurupreet Kaur, a child from India who died in the Arizona desert on June 13 while seeking asylum in the United States.

Kaur's body was discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in the desert near Lukeville on June 13.

Officials say the 6-year-old was traveling with four others when the group was dropped off by human smugglers.

Kaur was traveling with three adult women, including her mother and an 8-year-old child, when the group became separated.

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The 6-year-old's body was found roughly 17 miles west of Lukeville in an area described as "rugged desert wilderness with few backcountry roads and little to no resources."

In a statement provided to CNN from the nonprofit Sikh Coalition, Kaur's parents said, "We wanted a safer and better life for our daughter and we made the extremely difficult decision to seek asylum here in the United States. We trust that every parent, regardless of origin, color or creed, will understand that no mother or father ever puts their child in harm's way unless they are desperate."

The memorial was held at the Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona.

"We seek to honor Gurupreet Kaur and her family with Sikh kirtan, prayers and compassionate reflections without politics or judgment," Border Action Network, a group sponsoring the memorial wrote on the Facebook event page.