Murder, not elements, to blame for death of man found in desert

July 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

A county Coroner's Office investigation has revealed a man whose body was found in the western Imperial Valley desert last week by U.S. Border Patrol agents was murdered.

Agents found the body of a man thought to be an undocumented immigrant about 15 miles north of Plaster City in an area known as Carrizo Wash. The body was discovered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The identity of the man was not released, but county Deputy Coroner Investigator Gary Hayes said a document was found on the man with a name on it.

An autopsy revealed the man had a fractured trachea, a sign he was strangled. Hayes said it is apparent the man died at the hands of another.


The body had been in the desert for about two weeks before it was found.

The body was found one day after the body of another man, also thought to be an undocumented immigrant, was found in the Plaster City area.

Hayes said that man, whose identity has not been determined, died from heat exposure.

Whether there is a connection between the bodies was unknown to investigators this morning. The Border Patrol was looking for a group of immigrants in the area at the time the bodies were found.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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