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Suspected illegal immigrant found dead, five others taken to hospital

August 18, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

OCOTILLO — One man suspected of being an illegal immigrant was found dead and five of the people he was traveling with across the desert were taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon.

As of presstime Saturday night, the Border Patrol's Search Trauma and Rescue team, or BORSTAR, was helping El Centro sector Border Patrol agents in a search for two more people suspected of being lost in the desert.

Arturo Sandoval, a Border Patrol spokesman, said a group of more than 16 undocumented immigrants was wandering through the Jacumba Mountains wilderness Saturday afternoon when one left the group to get help.

"One individual went to a house at Nomirage (a small desert community near Highway 98 in the Ocotillo area) and he told someone there that several people were left behind.

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"The person called the Border Patrol and they talked to the guy and began the search.

"They have found 16 people so far. Eleven are at the station and are OK. They found one deceased. Five were taken to the hospital," he said.

An El Centro Regional Medical Center employee said the five suspected illegal immigrants were discharged from the hospital shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday.

Sandoval said Saturday night, "The search still continues for two more that are suspected to be in the mountainous terrain," he said.

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