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Smuggler abandons seven-year-old at border

Border Patrol surveillance cameras capture coyote with young girl atop border wall

CALEXICO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents recently recovered a young girl from the hands of a human smuggler along the U.S./Mexico border.

Border Patrol says surveillance cameras captured a man climbing a rope ladder to the top of the 30-foot wall near the Calexico Port of Entry. They say camera operators saw a child clinging to the man's back.


A statement on the child's abandonment from Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino:


Agents cautiously made their way to the scene, fearing the coyote would drop the child. They say, from that height, a child could be seriously injured, or even killed. Agents say they waited until the man lowered the child to the ground to move in.

They arrived to find a seven-year-old girl from El Salvador. The smuggler escaped back into Mexico.

“No one, let alone a child of any age, should be exposed to the multitude of dangers when crossing
illegally into this country” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino. “Smugglers will always view
children as a commodity to gain a profit, disregarding the safety and well-being of any individual
except their own.”

Agents conducted a welfare check on the child, then took her to Border Patrol's El Centro Center for medical evaluation and processing.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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