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Santa Teresa border agent who rescued couple stranded in snow is ‘amazed’ they survived

SANTA TERESA, New Mexico – A U.S. Border Patrol agent who rescued two migrants who were stranded in the snow near the Santa Teresa airport earlier this week said Wednesday that he was "amazed" they survived.

The couple called 911 saying they were dying and needed help.

"It's really cold. Our feet and -- my wife cannot walk any longer. Her heart is just dying. Can you help me as soon as possible," Mateo Vicente told the 911 operator.

Agent Michael Shaw found the pair who had reportedly been stuck out in the desert for several days; the women was wrapping in plastic and unresponsive and the man was showing signs of hypothermia. Shaw began to give aid to the unresponsive woman.

"I was completely amazed at that, I couldn’t believe where they were and how they got there in that kind of weather," Shaw told ABC-7 in an interview on Wednesday.

After stabilizing the woman, officials said he carried her a half-mile to his vehicle. From there, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

"I got behind her and picked her up and I had the male subject help me as much as he could, but he was also suffering from hypothermia himself so he wasn’t able to provide much help, but I did my best and I got her as far as I could to my truck," Shaw recounted.

Vicente also was taken to the hospital for medical treatment, authorities indicated.

The couple later tested positive for Covid-19, officials said. Agent Shaw, as a precaution, has been quarantined as required by Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video / Weather News

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

David Burge



  1. Oh, geez, can ya be any more melodramatic? Stranded in the snow? What all 3/4 of inch of it?. Puh-leeze. And their immigration status is obvious. If they hadn’t entered the country illegally they wouldn’t have become “Stranded.” And now our BP Agent has to suffer for it. Well good job PA. To bad you have to go into lock down.

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