Nine-year-old girl drowns while attempting to cross Rio Grande from Mexico into US

Federal agents attempted to save the child, but she was pronounced dead

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Friday 26 March 2021 18:33
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A nine-year-old girl from Mexico has drowned after she attempted to cross the Rio Grande river into the United States, federal officials said on Friday.

The unidentified child was found stranded and unconscious on an island on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande river along with a mother from Guatemala and her three-year-old child from Mexico, according to a statement released by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The two other migrants were also unresponsive.

US Border Patrol agents in the marine unit were alerted to the stranded individuals and immediately responded to the scene. They “immediately began administering first aid while transporting the migrants to shore,” the statement said.

The mother and three-year-old child regained consciousness during these resuscitation efforts.

“Agents attempted life saving efforts on the second child, a nine-year-old from Mexico and transferred care to the Eagle Pass Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services,” the statement continued.

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The nine-year-old girl never regained consciousness or showed responsiveness during these life saving efforts, and medical professionals pronounced her dead.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this small child,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L Skero II. “During these hard times our agents remain resilient, and I am extremely proud of their efforts to preserve human life.”

A CBP spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that the Guatemalan mother was the parent of both of the children who were with her when found on the island. Both children were Mexican nationals, the spokesperson added.

The statement released by the CBP did not detail the cause of death, but it was being investigated as a drowning, officials said.

“Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2021, 1 Oct, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents have rescued over 500 migrants attempting to illegally enter the country,” the statement read.

This death comes as there has been a rise in migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border since President Joe Biden has entered office.

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