Lost Illegal Immigrant Dies in Brooks County

Another illegal immigrant died in Brooks County, bringing the number of immigrant deaths this year to 105.

The Brooks County Sheriff's Department said the immigrant was from El Salvador, and has a girlfriend, also an illegal immigrant, from El Salvador. She called 911 for help. The problem was, the woman didn't know where she was.

The Sheriff's Department said it happens often. Illegal immigrants get lost. They get tired, and they start calling for help; and as was the case in this situation, the immigrants simply could not tell the Sheriff's Department where they were. So help was unable to arrive until it was too late.

Mario Luis Garcia was dead by the time the Sheriff's Department was able to find him, at around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Authorities recovered the body at the Laborcitas Creek Ranch on Highway 285, some four or five miles west of Falfurrias.

According to the Sheriff's Department, Garcia's girlfriend called 911 at around 7 p.m. Thursday, saying her boyfriend was very ill and could no longer keep walking through the brush; but she was unable to tell dispatchers where they were. As the night drew on, and it became dark, she couldn't see any landmarks, and couldn't give any directions.

"Many phones now these days have the GPS locator on them," said Inspector Danny Davila of the Brooks County Sheriff's Department. "They can activate it, and pretty much we're able to get it off their phone, and we're able to find what ranches they're on. This case, she didn't have it, or she didn't know how to turn the setting on. Our dispatchers did a great job on trying to walk her through it, but she just couldn't get it."

At around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, the girlfriend said Garcia had collapsed. By that time, the battery on her cell phone was getting very low, and she was instructed to not call and to turn off her phone until daylight hours. When daylight arrived, the woman was able to see some signs that identified the ranch she was at.


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