SIERRA BLANCA, Texas -- Caught off-guard by intense summer heat and rugged terrain in Culberson and Hudspeth counties, officials said they found a dead teenage boy but were able to rescue numerous other migrants in need of medical attention over the past 48 hours.
Word of the west Texas encounters came from the Texas Rescue Patrol. The incidents are the latest in a series of recent cases involving migrants found deceased or hurt in the deserts of west Texas and southern New Mexico after managing to cross the border into the U.S. from Mexico.
In Culberson County on Tuesday, Sheriff Oscar Carrillo received a 911 call from a rancher who spotted two Equadorian men lost and seeking help.
"The sheriff rolled up on the 35-year-old Equadorian man as he curled up under a Jeep to escape the heat only feet from his 15-year-old deceased son along a dirt track referred to as coal mine road," the Culberson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
It said the pair became separated from a group and ran out of water; the father told authorities that he and his son had spent three days walking along dirt tracks in the hopes of being rescued.
Meanwhile on Wednesday night in neighboring Hudspeth County, numerous migrants who needed medical attention were found and rescued by sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents from rugged terrain in the Sierra Blanca area near the border.
"Northern Hudspeth County EMS coordinated with multiple agencies to stage and prepare to triage the incoming sick & injured," the Texas Rescue Patrol said.
It didn't provide any further details in terms of the size of the migrant group or the extent of their injuries, but did release a video showing the triage scene, including the arrival of a medical helicopter. (You can view that in the video player below.)