Autopsy: Migrant child in Border Patrol custody died of infection

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

March 30 (UPI) — A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died while in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol in December died of a bacterial infection, an autopsy report released Friday indicates.

Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and her father, along with 163 other migrants, were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in December after they illegally crossed the U.S. border into a remote area of New Mexico called Antelope Wells.

Emergency workers revived her twice before transporting her by air to an El Paso, Texas, hospital. She died Dec. 8 of cardiac arrest.

The El Paso County Medical Examiner office’s Dec. 10 autopsy found evidence of streptococcus bacteria in Jakelin’s lungs, adrenal gland, liver and spleen. The sepsis infection “rapidly” progressed, causing organ failure and cardiac arrest.

Jakelin is one of four migrants who have died since December while in CBP custody. Earlier this month, a 40-year-old Mexican man with flu-like symptoms and liver and renal failure died at the Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

A 45-year-old Mexican man with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure died in February at the McAllen Medical Center in Texas, and a second Guatemalan migrant child, an 8-year-old, died in December at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, N.M., with cold symptoms.

After the second child’s death in December, CBP said it would perform medical checks on every child in detention younger than 10. The agency also said it’s reviewing how it holds immigrants to relieve crowding in its El Paso centers.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said in December that more resources were needed to help the children and said the border posts were built decades ago to house adult males, not children or families. More migrant children than ever are entering the country.


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