June 11 (UPI) — A Honduran man who illegally entered the United States killed himself while being detained in a Texas jail cell last month, officials confirmed on Sunday.
Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, was found dead by apparent self-strangulation or hanging on May 13 in Starr County, Texas.
Immigration officials apprehended Muñoz with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12 in the town of Granjeno, Texas, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Muñoz and his family wanted to apply for asylum. As part of U.S. immigration policy for asylum seekers who enter the country illegally, Muñoz was separated from his family while detained.
According to The New York Times, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said Muñoz “became disruptive and combative” while being held at an immigration processing center.
A Border Patrol agent told the Washington Post that Muñoz became upset because he was being separated from his son.
“The guy lost his [expletive],” the agent said. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
Due to his combative actions, officials said Muñoz was moved to a county jail 40 miles away because the facilities there had extra security.
The next morning, guards found him dead on the ground with a piece of clothing tied around his neck.
Another agent told the Washington Post he couldn’t understand why Muñoz “would choose to separate himself from his family forever” by killing himself.