Border Town Is Running Out Of Spaces To Bury Bodies Of Deceased Migrants

[Screenshot/Twitter/Ventura Report]

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A border community is running out of spaces to bury the bodies of migrants who passed away on their journey to the U.S.

Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told Daily Caller field reporter Jorge Ventura that the sheriff’s department identified three of the five deceased migrants recovered at the Rio Grande River. He detailed that several migrants die on the journey from drowning or dehydration from the sweltering heat.

“That’s the sad part, not everybody makes it, including children, females that are pregnant and I’m hoping that we don’t have to get another trailer like this with a freezer because it’s sad,” Schmerber said.


As morgues and funeral homes became increasingly overwhelmed with bodies, officials in Eagle Pass, Texas, requested refrigerators in September to store excess bodies. Several local counties have stopped conducting autopsies on a large number of migrants due to the overwhelmed state they are in.

“It’s gotten to the point where the state has to provide a refrigerator trailer where we’re having to take the deceased to and they’re there for maybe between about 24-72 hours where we try to get an identification on the person and at that point another sad thing that’s happening is our justices of the peace, they’re ordering autopsies on these unfortunate persons and the medical examiners that we use in Webb County…they’re starting to kind of turn us away because of the high volume of the deceased that they’re having.”

Border officials said they recover an average of one to two deceased migrants per day, most commonly from drowning. In Eagle Pass, Texas, an official told Ventura that they are going to have to open another plot to bury the migrants due to the overflow of dead bodies. (RELATED: Venezuelan Migrant Warns ‘This Country Will Collapse’ Under Mass Migration)

Authorities have not identified several deceased migrants because of lack of documentation or the migrant’s family cannot afford to make arrangements. Thus, several of the deceased are buried in the local county cemetery, the official told Ventura. The cemetery is currently running out of space to create more burial plots.

The plots for unidentified migrants contain makeshift crosses labeled “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” and include the date they were found. One grave marks the burial of an infant who drowned in the Rio Grande River on August 13, whose grave is labeled “Baby John Doe.”

Footage posted Wednesday by Ventura showed agents recovering a drowned migrant. Eagle Pass Fire Department Chief Manuel Mello III said earlier in September authorities have been conducting daily body recoveries in the Rio Grande River and are on track to recover 300 bodies this year.

“There are so many bodies being recovered that the morticians are asking for assistance,” Mello said. “I had never seen so many drownings like we’re seeing right now. We do a body recovery daily. It’s very traumatic for my personnel.”

In August, Bowles told the Caller that agents discovered a 3-year-old child who drowned in the river beneath the port of entry. Footage, posted by Ventura, captured two migrants who almost drowned from the river’s currents.