Border Patrol rescues Guatemalan caravan lost in California desert

Aerial view of desert hills under blue sky in Californias Mojave desert, near Ridgecrest. Small rock formations, desert brush.

OTAY MESA, Calif. — San Diego Sector’s (SDC) Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) team rescued five migrants last Thursday who were lost near Otay Mountain during unseasonably warm and dry conditions.

At approximately 3 p.m., agents were notified by SDC’s Foreign Operations Branch about a group of lost migrants.  The migrants indicated they were out of food and water and had three percent battery-power remaining on their phone.  BORSTAR agents responded to the last known GPS coordinates.

BORSTAR agents quickly located the migrants and conducted a medical evaluation of each migrant, finding no injuries or adverse health conditions.  Questioning the group further, agents determined all five people were citizens of Guatemala and had entered the U.S. illegally.  The group consisted of four adult males and one adult female.

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The migrants indicated they had been hiking for hours in hot weather conditions, then became lost in the mountainous terrain.  After exhausting their food and water supplies, they became desperate and contacted authorities.


Agents transported the five migrants to a nearby Border Patrol station for further processing.

“As smugglers become more callous about the welfare of the people they smuggle, the need for our rescue capabilities has increased,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.  “Thankfully, our agents continually rise to the occasion.”

On Tuesday, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents rescued a group of four who became lost in the Jacumba Wilderness region near Ocotillo

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To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders.  To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.