Woman abandoned near border, spent 40 hours trapped in ambulance

NOGALES, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued a 26-year-old Mexican woman from a 4-by-4-foot storage compartment on the outside of an out-of-service ambulance Friday after she was left for days by “coyotes” who smuggle people across the border.

According to the Nogales Police Department, the woman spent nearly three days in the aluminum compartment, which was locked, nearly airtight and basking in the sun. The ambulance was parked in an a fenced yard near the Freeport area, a half-mile away from the U.S.- Mexico Border.

The woman, who was only identified by authorities only as Angeles, was illegally guided across the border by the smugglers sometime on June 7. The coyotes told Angeles to hide inside the storage box and left her there with little water and no food, according to the Nogales Police Department.


Angeles had a cell phone on her and called her brother after her first night in the storage box, and she tried to describe her location to the best of her memory, police said.

36 hours later, Angeles’s brother Florencio arrived at Nogales and told Customs and Border Protection Agents what his sister had told him.

CBP called Nogales police to assist in the search for Angeles. They found an ambulance in a fenced yard next to two abandoned school buses. Officers cut a lock to enter the fence to gain access to the ambulance.

Police said Angeles was very weak and dehydrated. She was treated with an IV immediately by a Border Patrol medic, then transported to a local hospital.

CBP informed Florencio of his sister’s rescue and condition. Police said they will inform him of Angeles’ deportation so that they may be reunited.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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