Lost father and son show dangers of crossing in desolate South Texas

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McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol officials said they rescued a father and his 7-year-old son who were lost while trying to migrate north through a desolate part of South Texas earlier this week.

The pair, from El Salvador, was found by Border Patrol agents on Wednesday morning in a rural section of Brooks County. This is an area where many migrants have died trying to walk for miles through thick brush, cactus and in snake-infested lands to hook up with coyotes north of the checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas.

Read a previous Border Report story on Brooks County.

Border Patrol officials said a ground search team, air search team, and K-9 units all helped to locate the man and his son.

“The ranch lands of Brooks County are vast, and it is not uncommon for agents to conduct search rescues for lost subjects,” an agent told Border Report.

This 7-year-old boy, left, and his father were found by U.S. Border Patrol agents in rural Brooks County, in South Texas, on Dec. 18, 2019. (Border Patrol Courtesy Photo)

Agents said they found the boy’s shoe, with a phone number written on the bottom of it before they located the pair.

John David Franz, whose family has owned a ranch in Brooks County for decades, says he has seen many lost migrants over the year, and even found a corpse on his property.

“The ‘coyotes’ drop the migrants and tell them to go north,” Franz said as he gave Border Report a tour of his ranchland on Sept. 12. The area is full of snakes, prickly pear and wild animals and often times migrants cannot walk a straight line, Franz said. Many try to follow an oil pipe easement, which runs north to south through his property.

So many cross, that Franz has installed ladders so migrants climb over his fence and he doesn’t have to make so many repairs.

John David Franz, who owns a ranch in Brooks County, stands in front of a ladder on Sept. 12, 2019, which he has built on his fence line to help migrants cross through his property safely and to minimize fence damage. (Border Report File Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.

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