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Migrant found dead in Arizona desert after group gets lost

A 45-year-old man died over the weekend after attempting to traverse across the desert region surrounding Yuma.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 2, 2019, file photo, a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the U.S. side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. After a record hot and dry summer, more deaths among border-crossers have been documented in Arizona's desert and mountains. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

YUMA, Ariz. — A 45-year-old man died Sunday morning after a group of migrants got lost through the Southern Arizona desert.

Authorities said a distressed 18-year-old woman called 911 early Sunday morning after she and three others got lost walking through a remote desert region near Yuma. 

After Border Patrol agents located the lost woman alone 14 miles south of Yuma, they set out to find her three travel companions. 

An extensive search resulted in agents rescuing two dehydrated adults and the discovery of an unconscious man.   

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the man was pronounced deceased and didn't disclose his exact cause of death. 

The agency says the other migrants were transported to a nearby hospital. One of them, a 34-year-old Mexican citizen, is facing criminal charges for allegedly guiding the others across the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The 45-year-old's death is only one of several to be reported during what's been a particularly deadly summer in Arizona's southern region. 

The remains of 127 migrants were recovered during the first half of 2021, according to Humane Borders, a nonprofit that tracks migrant deaths in Arizona's deserts.

The first six months of 2021 have already seen more deaths than the whole of 2017, which reported the discovery of 123 human remains. 

With temperatures escalating above 110 degrees for most of the recent summer months, Humane Borders concluded that exposure to natural elements has been the most common cause of death for migrants. 

In June, the nonprofit reported the recovery of 43 sets of human remains throughout Southern Arizona. 

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