‘High number’ of migrants found dead over weeklong period

Border Patrol agents say they’ve recovered the remains “of an unusually high number of immigrants” over the past week as temperatures in the Rio Grande Valley have dropped to near-freezing.

A total of eight migrants have been found dead on ranchland near the Falfurrias checkpoint since Dec. 7, and the most recent migrant was discovered Dec. 14, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

Another immigrant was found dead in Hidalgo on Dec. 8, and the day prior a “distressed” migrant was located in Norias, in Kenedy County. That migrant lost consciousness while receiving medical attention from Border Patrol and died.

Manuel Padilla Jr., the Rio Grande Valley Sector chief patrol agent, said smugglers frequently abandon migrants who are unable to keep up with their group, “expos(ing) them to extreme conditions.”

Another cold front is expected in the Rio Grande Valley this weekend.