Three decomposing bodies were found by Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents in the desert in two separate incidents over the weekend.
Agents discovered the bodies of two men Friday near Quijotoa on the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the third body was found Saturday near Arivaca, states a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.
In the first incident near Quijotoa, which is near Casa Grande, the two men were suspected in marijuana smuggling. The bodies and three marijuana bundles were spotted by air support while on patrol, authorities said.
The Tohono O’odham Police Department took custody of the scene.
In the second incident, Border Patrol agents found a man’s body about 100 yards from Arivaca Road, said authorities.
Agents found out about the man after his sister was captured, and she told agents her brother had fallen and was unresponsive before he was abandoned by a group of undocumented border crossers.
Federal authorities notified the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and deputies went to the scene.
“The desert does not discriminate,” said Tucson Sector Chief Manuel Padilla Jr. “Economic migrants and narco-smugglers alike have all perished. Anyone thinking about crossing should simply not do it,” he said.
In the past nine months, Border Patrol agents have reported close to 100 deaths throughout Southern Arizona, authorities said.
As triple-digit temperatures remain, risks with crossing the Arizona-Sonora desert cannot be understated, said officials.
Many migrant deaths result from ”ruthless smugglers lying to immigrants, claiming they will only walk a short distance," officials said.