Posted: Feb 22, 2013 12:40 PM by NBC News (KVEO)
Updated: Feb 22, 2013 12:46 PM
BROOKS COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) - Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants cross through Brooks County, Texas every year. The truth, only about a tenth of them are ever caught. These undocumented men, women and even children are muled across the rugged, brush lands every single day.
"We don't know why. Brooks county for some reason is a funneling point, where everybody seems to be coming through," said Inv. Daniel Davila, Brooks County Sheriff's Department.
The goal of these immigrants is to get through the county unseen and undetected by U.S. Border Patrol, County Constables, Brooks County Sheriff's deputies, and Falfurrias police. But in the past year, the most tragic issue comes from those who don't make it through.
"This year alone, this past year in 2012, 129 deaths, bodies that were recovered in the brush," said Davila.
Body found, grave dug. Body found, grave dug. It's become the cycle and it isn't slowing down. 129 dead immigrants in just one year. It's the worst scenario Brooks County officials could ever imagine, but it's a reality.
"I have been with the department for 17 years, this being the highest body count we have ever had. I believe the closest to it would be like 70-some bodies. And that was in '09," says Davila.
Once a body is found, deputies must make sure there is no foul play. From there, the local justice of the peace or county judge Raul Ramirez must come and declare the body as dead.
"Then the local mortician is contacted. So they can actually go out there and pick up the body, put it into a body bag and then transfer it into Falfurrias," explains County Judge Raul Ramirez.
"And then from here it will be transported to Mission, Texas to the Elizondo mortuary." The claimed bodies are then sent back to their families, but the unclaimed bodies must come back to Brooks County.
The even more controversial part with Brooks County residents is the bill. Several hundred thousand dollars have been spent by the county on the bodies.
For now, the county is running out of room for burial of the remains. County leaders will meet next week to try and find a solution to getting more land for burial plots.
Read more: http://bit.ly/VTKeIv
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