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Two migrants found dead in desert on Tuesday near Yuma

Migrant Border Deaths
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jun 03, 2021

YUMA, AZ — After the discovery of two bodies near Yuma in a single day this week, border officials are again urging migrants to not cross the border into the desert as temperatures rise.

The bodies were reportedly located in separate locations southeast of the Yuma Foothills on Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday.

One of the bodies found just a couple miles away from a rescue beacon was identified as a 40-year-old Mexican national. The person had been dead for about two weeks, officials say.

RELATED: ‘It hasn’t stopped’: Volunteers try to stem the tide of migrant death in the desert

On Tuesday afternoon, officials received a call for help regarding a woman who collapsed and died in the desert area. She was identified as a 20-year-old woman from Guatemala.

Lenin Padilla, a Border Patrol agent and program manager assigned to the Yuma Sector Foreign Operations Branch, is also part of the sector's Missing Migrant Program. The group is working with the Mexican government and other groups to try to prevent border crossings.

Migrant Deaths
FILE - In this March 2, 2019, file photo, a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the U.S. side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. After a record hot and dry summer, more deaths among border-crossers have been documented in Arizona's desert and mountains. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Padilla helps locate missing individuals and helps identify migrants who have died.

Padilla says two people said to have crossed the border have been reported missing by family. They have not been located.

“Unfortunately, we are expecting the number of 911 calls to increase as the summer months come,” Padilla said in a CBP news release.

Last month, Yuma border agents responded to 47 emergency calls, rescued 126 migrants and recovered five bodies. Two of those bodies have not been identified.

Arizona border deaths hit a 10-year high in 2020, mostly due to heat. The bodies of 220 migrants who crossed the border were recovered in our state.

Data shows more than 178,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in April, marking the highest one-month total in two decades.