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Three small children and an adult woman were found dead along a particularly dangerous part of the U.S.-Mexico border called El Rincón del Diablo, or the “Devil’s Corner,” according to local police.
Police located the bodies — two infants, one toddler, and a 20-year-old woman — in the Anzalduas Park, near the river that divides Texas from Mexico in Mission, Texas, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said in a tweet late Sunday night. The Rio Grande Valley, where the park is based, accounts for more than 40% of illegal crossing arrests, although it’s not clear if the four people were migrants, according to CBS News.
“It's an incredibly heartbreaking situation, which seems to happen far too often,” Rosanne Hughes, a spokesperson for the FBI’s San Antonio division, said in an emailed statement.
Much of President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a wall along the border have focused on Hidalgo County, and the president visited the park in January. It’s thick with brush and pitch-black after nightfall, with vehicle headlights sometimes the only light for miles, according to The Monitor.
The investigation into the four deaths has since been turned over to the FBI, since the bodies were found on federal land and the identities of the deceased aren’t yet known.
But the nearby town of McAllen, Texas, is currently experiencing incredibly hot temperatures, with highs approaching 100 degrees for most of the week. Investigators told local station KRGV, an ABC affiliate, that the four people might have died from dehydration.
The deaths follow months of near-record migration to the United States from Central American countries experiencing violence. More than 144,000 migrants were arrested or turned away at the border last month, the highest monthly total in 13 years.
Lawyers alleged over the weekend that two Texas processing centers are holding migrant children in filthy, overcrowded conditions. Last week, four toddlers at another processing center in McAllen— were hospitalized after lawyers found them unresponsive and vomiting, according to the Huffington Post.
Cover image: In this March 29, 2019, file photo, cars and trucks line up to enter the U.S. from Mexico at a border crossing in El Paso, Texas. Authorities in far South Texas say U.S. Border Patrol agents have discovered the bodies of four people, including three children, who appeared to have died from heat exposure after crossing the Rio Grande. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)