A six-year-old migrant child from India died of heatstroke after her mother left her with other migrants while she went to look for water, a medical examiner and US Border Patrol said.
Gurupreet Kaur, who was soon to celebrate her seventh birthday, was found on Wednesday by US Border Patrol west of Lukeville, Arizona, where temperatures reached a high of 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit), US Border Patrol and the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME) said.
The girl’s death, the second recorded fatality of a migrant child this year in Arizona’s southern deserts, highlighted the danger of summer heat as a surge of people – mainly from Central America – cross the US-Mexico border to seek asylum.
An increasing number of Indian nationals are crossing into the United States from Mexico, according to immigration officials. They are among thousands of Africans and Asian migrants who fly to third countries and then embark on an arduous trek through Mexico and into the US southern deserts led by smuggling cartels.
The girl and her mother were among a group of five Indian nationals dropped off by smugglers in a remote border area at 10am on Tuesday, 27km (17 miles) west of Lukeville, a US border town 80km (50 miles) southwest of Tucson.
After walking some way, the girl’s mother and another woman went looking for water, leaving her daughter with another woman and her child.