EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Mexican authorities say they have found the bodies of two migrants who were part of a large group abandoned by smugglers in the desert across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

The bodies were found during a search initiated after U.S. Border and Customs Protection officials on Tuesday told Mexico they received reports of four possible fatalities. Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) on Thursday said it was looking for the two missing migrants reported as dead by their companions.

The group of 16 set off with the smugglers last week from two towns west of Monclova, Coahuila, but were abandoned on the way to the U.S. border, INM reported. Twelve members of the group managed to reach the Mexican border town of Acuña and were apprehended by U.S. authorities crossing the border. The detainees told CBP that four in their group died along the way and passed on the approximate location of the bodies.

Mexican officials said they searched the location by land and air and found two of the bodies on Wednesday. The joint search by INM, Coahuila state police and the Mexican National Guard continued Thursday.

The Coahuila state police is participating in the search for the missing migrants allegedly abandoned in the desert by smugglers. (Courtesy State of Coahuila)

El Tiempo de Monclova on Thursday reported the migrants were residents of the farming communities of Ocampo and Cuatro Cienegas and all of them were Mexican males. Vanguardia published photos purporting to show the missing migrants. Both Mexican news outlets said the Coahuila Attorney General’s Office is investigating possible criminal acts in connection with the tragedy.