May 7, 2013 1:58 PM by Michelle Walby

Smuggler guide leaves men to die in the desert

PINAL COUNTY - An illegal immigrant was discovered dead in the desert area east of I-10 near Red Rock on Friday.

One of the men in the group called 911 after they were unable to wake a man. U.S. Border Patrol units arrived overhead and located the group of five men under a tree.

One of the immigrants was lying on his back but not moving. When the Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on the ground, he found a Hispanic male, approximately 20-years-old, dead underneath the tree.

The other men in the group said they had been walking from Mexico for about six days with very little food and water. They said the deceased male was complaining about the heat and being tired. Unable to walk anymore, the group took a break to rest.

The immigrants said they had set out with a group of 19 other people from Mexico. The group had split-up in the desert. The guide set off with the larger group and told the five men to wait by the tree until he returned. He never came back.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office examined the crime scene and found no signs of trauma or foul play. The body was turned to a local funeral home.

The other four men were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for processing.


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