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8-year-old migrant boy who died in custody had influenza

Posted at 5:28 AM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 08:11:28-05

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – New Mexico authorities say an autopsy performed on the 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody shows he had the flu.

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator says in a statement late Thursday that more tests need to be done before a cause of death can be determined for Felipe Gomez Alonzo.

Authorities say Felipe Gomez Alonzo died at a New Mexico hospital after suffering coughing, vomiting and a fever.

Felipe’s father took his son to the border after hearing rumors that parents and their children would be allowed to migrate to United States, according to the boy’s stepsister, Catarina Gomez Lucas, who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, two days after the boy’s death.

Gomez Lucas would not say who spread the rumors or who transported the father and son to the border from Yalambojoch in Huehuetenango province, a poor community of returnees from Mexico who had fled Guatemala in the bloodiest years of that country’s 1960-1996 civil war. The stepsister spoke to the AP on Wednesday by telephone from Yalambojoch.

Another Guatemalan child, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, died in U.S. custody on Dec. 8.

Both deaths are under investigation.