An 8-year-old Guatemalan detained by Customs and Border Protection died just after midnight Christmas Day at a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the agency reported, an agent noticed Monday that the child was ill. The boy and his father were taken to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, N,M, where the boy was diagnosed with a cold, according to a border agency news release. Later, he was found to have a fever and was held for an additional 90 minutes before he was released with prescriptions for antibiotics. But the child became seriously ill Monday night, when he vomited, and was taken back to the hospital. The cause of death was not known. An agency spokesman declined to provide details on where the child was being held or when he was caught.
A border official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the child was apprehended in El Paso, Texas, and taken to Alamagordo, N.M., about 100 miles away, because of overcrowding in El Paso cells.
An investigation will be conducted by the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the news release said. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general and Congress have been notified, it said.
The Guatemalan government was also notified. Guatemalan officials were meeting with the boy’s father and will speak with any family members who are in Guatemala, according to the news release.