United States Customs and Border Protection officials said on Friday that the the body of a six-year-old migrant girl believed to be from India was found in the Arizona desert near Lukeville, Reuters reported. The girl reportedly died due to a heat stroke when temperatures touched 42°C.
Gurupreet Kaur’s death was the second fatality of a migrant child this year in the Arizona desert.
Kaur and her mother were a part of group of five Indians who were dropped off by smugglers in a remote area near the Arizona-Mexico border on Tuesday. After walking for a while, the girl’s mother left her with another woman and her daughter to look for water, officials said. “Once they went to look for water they never saw them again,” Reuters quoted US Border Patrol Agent Jesus Vasavilbaso.
Agents from the Tucson Sector came across the two women who claimed to have been separated from another woman and two children. Agents found footprints late on Wednesday which indicated that two other members of the group had crossed back into Mexico, AP reported.
“Patrol agents took the two women into custody and began searching the area north of the international border in remote terrain seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs,” the agency said in a statement, according to CNN. “Within hours, they discovered the little girl’s remains.”
Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said that the episode was “a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk”.
An increasing number of Indian nationals are attempting to enter the United States through Mexico, Reuters quoted immigration officials as saying. They are a part of thousands of Africans and Asians who attempt to cross the border with the help of smuggling cartels, officials said.