Human remains exhumed in Brooks County
POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 4:21pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 3:27pm
BROOKS COUNTY, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — It's a journey many undocumented immigrants take. They try to come to the United States hoping for the American dream. To avoid detection at Border checkpoints they take a rough path walking miles and miles through the grueling heat in Brooks County.
Some end up not making it. Brooks County Sheriff Department Deputy Chief Benny Martinez says 159 bodies were recovered last year.
"It’s a site that you cannot describe, the way they are eaten up, the heat itself, the elements the animals, the buzzards." said Martinez.
The remains from the undocumented are collected and then taken to the Sacred Heart Municipal Park in the small community of Falfurrias where they are buried.
They are buried in this small area, no name, just a marker that says unknown with some numbers. But all this week a group from Baylor University is trying to figure out who the remains belong to.
Dr. Lori Baker is an associate professor of Anthropology at Baylor University leading the project.
"We are doing is an exhumation take the remains back do a full forensic analysis and take DNA samples to compare against families members that's have already been submitted." said Baker.
Baylor University is working with the missing migrant project.
"The missing migrant project is working with all the families of the missing they take all the information they can on the person missing and we are able to use that to make tentative matches, they also take DNA samples from them because it doesn't make sense if we don't have family members to compare it to."
Students from Baylor University taking part in the project say they want to help the victims' families have closure.
"This is someone's loved one, this is someone's mom, somebody's dad and or brother, this is someone who is living and breathing and now we are trying to bring them back to their families." said Baylor student Kaylin Valdez.
"realize this is work that needs to be done its a humanitarian crisis here and that what just keeps us going."said Marissa Sally.