The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently completed an investigation into the death of a Guatemalan child who died in U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) custody.
The investigation found no misconduct or malfeasance by DHS personnel.
On December 6, 2018, a 7-year-old child and her father were apprehended in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. On December 7, 2018, during transport from Antelope Wells to another USBP facility 90 miles away in Lordsburg, New Mexico, the child’s father reported that she was ill with a fever and vomiting. The child also started having seizures.
When the child arrived at the USBP station in Lordsburg, USBP Emergency Medical Technicians initiated medical care and flew the child to the hospital by commercial air ambulance, and USBP personnel drove the father to the hospital. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital the next day.
OIG conducted a detailed investigation and coordinated with the local medical examiner’s office. The state medical examiner’s autopsy report found the child died of natural causes due to sequelae of Streptococcal sepsis.