U.S. NEWS
05/16/2019 10:59 EDT

Guatemalan Toddler Apprehended At U.S. Border Dies In Hospital: Report

The 2 1/2-year-old boy had been hospitalized for several weeks after crossing the border with his mother.

A Guatemalan toddler apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border reportedly has died after several weeks in a Texas hospital ― the fourth death of a migrant child since December.

The 2 1/2-year-old boy died on Tuesday night in El Paso, Texas, The Washington Post reported, citing the Guatemalan Consulate and a source with direct knowledge.

The boy, whose identity wasn’t revealed by authorities, was apprehended with his mother on April 3 near the Paso Del Norte Bridge, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told HuffPost in an email. That bridge spans the Rio Grande, connecting El Paso with the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.

Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters
A man crosses from El Paso, Texas, into Mexico at Paso del Norte international border crossing bridge on April 9, 2019. The toddler and his mother were apprehended near this bridge on April 3, a Customs and Border Protection official said.

The day after their capture, the boy’s mother reported him as sick, authorities said. He was transported to a hospital in Horizon City, and later to a children’s hospital in El Paso. His mother was released from custody on April 8, CBP said.

“At that point, the family was no longer in [Border Patrol] custody,” CBP said.

There were no immediate responses to requests for comment from the El Paso medical examiner’s office, Guatemalan Consulate and the hospital.

The boy is at least the sixth migrant to die after crossing the border since December. Four of those deaths were children, all from Guatemala, which is gripped by a hunger crisis.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Migrant Jose Fermin Gonzalez Cruz holds his 2-year-old son, William Josue Gonzales Garcia, as they wait with other families who crossed the nearby U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas, on March 14.