Immigrant drowns while fleeing Border Patrol agents in Mission
Wed, 03 Aug 2011 23:37:51 GMT —
It was an immigrant chase that started in Mission and ended in tragedy.
Investigators are working to identify an undocumented immigrant who drowned after jumping into a canal Tuesday night.
Border Patrol spokesperson Rosie Huey spoke to Action 4 News about the case.
"It was right behind me in this canal where the man's body was found, Huey said
Mission police responded to a canal near the intersection of Conway and Abelino Farias Road in Tuesday night after receiving a call that a man was in the canal.
Huey said the man was part of a group of 20 illegal immigrants and had jumped into the canal to escape authorities.
She said a Border Patrol agent attempted to rescue the immigrant but couldn't reach him.
Mission firefighters were called to the scene and they recovered his body a few hours later.
Authorities are now handling the investigation into the man's death.
Investigators released a photo of a ring he was wearing in hopes of identifying him.
Agent Huey said illegal immigrants face many dangers when entering the United States illegally.
"There are many dangers that they see not only heat exposure, but making decisions that they probably wouldn't make under normal circumstances, she said. If the person is not a good swimmer, that could pose a threat. We don't know how deep these canals are, we don't know what type of currents they have and so it's very dangerous."
Huey said Border Patrol agents have performed 150 rescues this year and seen more than 30 deaths.
Both an increase when compared to figures from last year.
Agents said out of 20 undocumented immigrants, only 11 were arrested.
Anyone with information to help identify the man who drowned, is asked to call Mission Crime Stoppers at (956) 581-TIPS or (956) 581-8477.