Brooks County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a call on November 24 from a ranch hand regarding the discovery of skeletal remains. The ranch is located southwest of Falfurrias and northeast of the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint. Dispatchers sent Deputy Jonathan Melendez to the scene to collect the remains, according to information provided by Brooks County Sheriff’s Office officials.
Deputy Melendez made contact with the hand who said that while he was hunting on November 23 another hunter told him he found a human skull and other bones on the ground. The ranch employee guided the deputy 2.6 miles into the ranch where they found the apparent scene of the migrant’s death.
This area is a well known human smuggling path where cartel-connected guides march migrants around the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint. Smugglers drop off the migrants on back roads south of the checkpoint and then pick up the ones who survive the perilous march on roads north of the checkpoint. If a migrant becomes weak, dehydrated, injured, or for any other reason cannot keep up, the smuggler simply leaves them behind to die, Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez previously told Breitbart Texas.
At the scene, Melendez reported finding a human skull and other assorted bones on the ground. He also found a pair of blue jeans with a white belt and a blue t-shirt. A search of the area and belongings also led to the discovery of a Honduran identification card issued to Jesler Ariel Lopez Espana, a 23-year-old male. It is not known if this identification card belonged to the decedent.
A Brooks County justice of the peace made the statutory proclamation of death.
The deputy gathered the remains and personal effects of the decedent and made arrangements for transportation to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office in Laredo, Texas. The medical examiner will attempt to identify the remains of the migrant and arrange a return to the migrant’s family.