Texas Border Business
On May 7, 2023, at approximately 12:21 a.m., Del Rio Border Patrol Sector Border Intelligence Center personnel received a 911 emergency call forwarded by the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office. The call was from a man who stated he was traveling with his father-in-law and brother-in-law. The man stated they were lost and in distress. The Sheriff’s Office provided Intelligence Center personnel GPS coordinates to the approximate location of the caller. Intelligence Center personnel informed Carrizo Springs Border Patrol Station management of the three lost individuals in distress. Carrizo Springs Station management immediately dispatched Border Patrol agents to attempt to locate the three individuals. Carrizo Spring Station management also advised Dimmit County Emergency Medical Services of the situation and requested they remain on standby.
A Border Patrol agent located the three lost individuals at approximately 12:55 a.m. The agent noticed one of the individuals, later identified as a citizen of Mexico, had rapid breathing and was unable to communicate. The agent immediately requested Emergency Medical Services and placed the man in the recovery position to cool him down.
EMS personnel arrived at approximately 1:30 a.m. and began medical treatment by administering IV fluids and oxygen to the man. EMS then requested an air evacuation unit but were told none were available. EMS placed him on a stretcher, loaded him into the ambulance, and transported him to the Dimmit Regional Hospital at approximately 1:40 a.m. They arrived at the hospital at approximately 2:11 a.m. and the man was treated for respiratory distress and was monitored under hospital watch by a Border Patrol agent. Hospital personnel performed multiple life saving measures during the following 2 hours, but were unsuccessful. The man was declared deceased by hospital medical personnel at approximately 4:20 a.m., and his body was transported to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office pending an autopsy.
Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) special agents interviewed the Border Patrol agents who responded to the call. Both agents stated throughout the incident that the man in medical distress had rapid breathing and was unable to communicate. The agents stated they attempted to cool him down by providing water, fanning him, and waited for approximately 30 minutes until EMS personnel arrived.
CBP’s OPR special agents interviewed the two undocumented noncitizens who were traveling with the man in medical distress. Both identified themselves as citizens of Mexico and said they were the man’s sons-in-laws. Both stated they all had walked through the brush for three days and did not have enough water for the type of walking and high temperatures they endured. The men told special agents they ran out of water the day prior and after approximately 3 to 4 hours, their father-in-law began to panic. As the group rested, their father-in-law laid down and began breathing rapidly. Approximately three to four hours later, the men could not wake him up and decided to make a 911 emergency call. The men stated that Border Patrol arrived approximately 20 minutes later and instantly attempted to cool down their father-in-law with water.
This incident is under review by CBP’s OPR. The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was also notified.