A 7-year-old girl believed to be from India was found in Arizona in a remote desert area, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Authorities said the girl was attempting to cross with a group of people from her country into the United States. Her body was found about 10 miles west of Lukeville.
The girl reportedly traveling with four others was left by human smugglers near the international border. The smugglers ordered the group to cross at that dangerous and austere location.
Temperatures were hovering around 108 degrees Wednesday in the rugged wilderness the day officials discovered her body.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents got the information from two women from India about their last moments. They told officials that they had been separated from a woman and two children hours earlier as they tried to enter the United States.
“Agents took the two women into custody and began searching the area north of the international border in remote terrain seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs,” the agency said in a statement. “Within hours, they discovered the little girl’s remains.”
Following a search involving helicopters for the other people with whom she had traveled, agents found footprints indicating that they had returned to Mexico.
“Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk.”
Together with Mexican officials, Customs and Border Protection officers are looking for anyone connected with the group on both sides of the border.