Region's condition where woman was found near-death | Photo courtesy US Border Patrol

Abandoned by smugglers and left for dead, Big Bend Border Patrol Agents find, save woman

U.S. Border Patrol officials announced that a woman who was left for dead in the winter storm blanketing Texas last week, was saved by agents in the rough terrain around Van Horn, Texas.

According to officials, agents at the Van Horn Border Patrol Station were contacted by a caller claiming to be a relative of a 43-year-old woman from Mexico, saying that she was abandoned by a smuggler on Saturday, February 13.

Immediately following the call, agents deployed to the area search for the woman, with no initial success. Finally, a rancher in the local area notified Border Patrol Agents that he found the woman.

Agents rushed to the ranch with emergency medical equipment and agents who are qualified as Emergency Medical Technicians. When they arrived, they performed first-aid to stabilize the subject and elevate her core body temperature, allowing for transport from the remote area of Texas to a regional hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia and severe frostbite.

Border Patrol officials share that the woman told agents that she spent three days hidden among rocks during the actual snowstorm. She said that once the snow stopped falling, she made her way to an abandoned shed where she spent three additional days in freezing temperatures.

On the sixth day she found a dirt road that had fresh vehicle tracks and followed them until she came upon a rancher.

“It’s unfortunate so many people place their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers, which often results in a tragic situation like this,” said Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin. “For smugglers, it’s a business and they will leave you behind if you cannot keep up with them.”

Officials added that agents rescued over 200 people during the inclement weather, doing everything in their power to save the lives of those in need. Unfortunately, four subjects succumbed to the cold weather before they were found by agents.

“For us, it’s about a precious life lost,” said Chief McGoffin. “Our greatest concern is the preservation of life. Our agents go well beyond the normal requirements of the job to help others. They know in these situations, there are no second chances.”