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DHS OIG Completes Investigation of the Death of Seven-Year-Old Guatemalan Child

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Public Affairs (202) 254-4100

For Immediate Release

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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.  
•    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.

DHS Agency
Oversight Area