TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents discovered three evident victims of the Arizona desert heat this weekend.
Two male victims, suspected of smuggling narcotics, were found near Quijotoa, northwest of Sells, on June 21. Their bodies and three marijuana bundles were seen by Casa Grande Station agents via air assets. The Tohono O'odham Police Department then responded to the scene.
On June 22, Tucson Station agents located a deceased male near Arivaca, south of Tucson. The victim's sister tipped off the victim's location when she was apprehended and told the agents he had fallen and was abandoned by the group. The Pima County Sheriff's Department took over the case.
Border Patrol agents have reported nearly 100 deaths for related causes in the past nine months across Southern Arizona. Border Patrol officials say many of the deaths in the Sonoran Desert are the result of smugglers telling immigrants they will only walk a short distance, when that is not the case.
"This desert is no theme park and that is the most important thing to understand," Tucson Sector's Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said. "The desert does not discriminate. Economic migrants and narco-smugglers alike have all perished. Anyone thinking about crossing should simply not do it."
To anonymously report suspicious activity to Border Patrol, call (877) 872-7435.