Officials in San Antonio said Tuesday that the number of migrants who died after being cooped up in a tractor-trailer on Monday has risen to 53, following the death of yet another migrant at a local hospital. At the scene, 46 migrants were declared dead, and 5 of the 16 migrants found alive in the scorching hot trailer died after being taken to hospitals.
According to local officials, 39 of the victims were men and 12 were women. According to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the dead include 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans, and two Hondurans.
Officials are still trying to identify the identities and nationalities of some of the victims; Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores stated that 34 of the victims have thus far been identified. During a press conference in San Antonio on Tuesday, she did not reveal any additional information about the victims.
According to News4SanAntonio, 5 children were among those killed. A Guatemalan man confirmed the deaths of his 2 daughters, Griselda and Carla, the ages of which were not revealed.
Homeland Security Investigations officials have chosen to take over the criminal probe into the migrants’ deaths.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told The New York Times on Tuesday that the tractor-trailer driver was apprehended in a nearby field after fleeing on foot, and that he is now in federal custody.
According to federal court documents filed on Tuesday, authorities went to the San Antonio address on the tractor-registration trailer’s and managed to stop a Ford pickup truck that was departing the property.
After discovering countless firearms in the residence, they arrested Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and charged both with illegal possession of firearms.
According to the records, both are Mexican citizens who are in the country illegally after overstaying their tourist visas. Both are being held in federal custody.
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