EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Federal officials are investigating the death of two migrants whose bodies were found on an entrance ramp to Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Texas.
A passing motorist discovered the bodies on June 12 and fingerprint checks identified the two individuals as Rosenda Gomez Lopez, of Guatemala, and Edgar Vividor Rodriguez, of Mexico.
The cause of death is pending autopsy results, but investigators at the scene believe the migrants may have died from heat exposure and dehydration, and their bodies subsequently pushed from a vehicle, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said in a statement Friday.
“Human smugglers are heinous individuals who profit from smuggling undocumented migrants without prejudice and with a clear disregard of whether the people on whom they prey end up paying the final price,” said Frank B. Burrola, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “Homeland Security Investigations is laser-focused on ensuring human smugglers face the consequences of their reprehensible actions.”
Federal officials in El Paso and Arizona have been warning migrants against allowing transnational criminal organizations to cross them illegally into the United States in desert areas at this time of year, when afternoon highs are consistently above 100 degrees.
Migrant deaths in the El Paso-Southern New Mexico area increased fourfold last fiscal year, going from just 10 in 2020 to 39 in 2021. Rescues went up from 330 to 688 in the same period. Not all deaths were heat-related; some have drowned in canals or died from falls.
HSI is investigating the human smuggling attempt that resulted in the two fatalities. The Culberson County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Border Patrol Big Bend Sector agents assisted in the case.
HSI is calling on members of the public with information on this case – or any smuggling activity – to call 1-866-347-2423 toll-free, or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. You can also complete the online tip form.