Ranchers on Alert after Discovering Human Remains
FALFURRIAS – Rio Grande Valley ranchers are on the lookout for people crossing the border illegally in the extreme heat.
Brooks County rancher and veterinarian Dr. Mike Vickers said the discovery of people making the long trek never stops. The border fence is only half of the people’s journey.
"For them to get around the checkpoint and get picked up north of the checkpoint, some of them are walking 15 to 20 miles,” said Vickers. "Anytime we see buzzards we always respond because a lot times it could be a human being.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents continue to find bodies across the Valley.
Officials released a warning to the public and people who are crossing the border illegally. In the statement, it says a Falfurrias rancher found human remains on Sunday and found more remains on Tuesday.
BORSTAR agents said they found skeletal remains on Wednesday.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a body found in Bentsen Park last week.
"These cases that were seeing, these deaths or these bodies that we're finding, they’re along the checkpoints,” said Border Patrol spokesperson Marlene Castro.
Castro said deaths are down from last year.
"From October 1 from to now, we had 71 bodies located compared to 86 at this same time last year,” said Castro.
Although there's a decrease in deaths, the amount of rescues are consistent. Castro said 756 were rescued in 2016 and 757 so far this year.
Vickers said ranchers will continue to stand guard.
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