More illegal immigrants have been killed in 2012 while traveling through Brooks County than ever before.
The Sheriff's Department says 83 bodies have been found. There were 23 bodies found in the month of July alone, and the Sheriff's Department fears the numbers will continue to rise.
Department officials said they have found immigrants ranging from age 17 to people in their 60s, both men and women, from a variety of countries. Sometimes they can be identified, and sometimes they cannot.
"That's the hard part, you know, once you get there, especially if it's, you know the body's in pretty bad shape, you know we can't really go through their clothing," said Investigator Danny Davila of the Brooks County Sheriff's Department. "When we can, we try. We're lucky if we find numbers or anything with a name, or an address to where we can try to contact loved ones."
On Monday, Davila showed Kiii News folders containing photos of the immigrants that have been found dead all throughout the county. Sheriff's deputies found the bodies in various stages of decomposition.
"A lot of the ranchers will find them, buzzards flying over head, and that's a clue to them," Davila said. "Especially ranchers that don't have any type of livestock. Of course they go and they check it out, and they find out, they find human remains."
Davila said this year, most of the immigrants found have been from El Salvador, but that they also find immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and beyond. He said the immigrants are sometimes found 10-15 miles into a ranch property, after having succumbed to the unforgiving elements, like triple-digit heat, difficult terrain and lack of food and water.
Investigators say the immigrants get lost out there, and die of dehydration. Davila said having to find the bodies in those conditions does take a toll on the deputies that work in the department.
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