A dead person hanging from a tree and presumed to be a migrant was discovered by law enforcement officials in Texas, just 80 miles from the state’s border, authorities said.
A graphic photo, taken by the sheriff’s office, shows a man’s skeletal body hanging from a piece of cloth tied around his neck. The photo was used for the investigation. “We have never seen anything like this in our county,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Newsweek.
“We regularly find deceased migrants in this county, but never anything like this. This is what our deputies and the Border Patrol agents have to deal with here,” he added.
Body Was Hanging For A Week Before Being Discovered
Martinez said that the body was naked and a folded clothing was found next to him. Law enforcement suspects that the man’s shirt was used to hang him and the body has been at the scene for at least a week.
Incident Treated As Homicide
Two identification cards were found which prompted officers to identify the man as a Mexican. Although the investigation is being treated as a homicide, the sheriff said that there are many factors “to really specifically say what actually transpired.”
Authorities will still have to return to the scene and get an autopsy report back. “This is why it’s imperative that we find witnesses because they’ll be the only ones to tell us exactly what happened,” Martinez said.
Increase In Migrant Deaths
According to the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, an increase in migrant deaths has been observed this year. Martinez said that they discovered 98 migrants who died since January, 10 of which died in a car crash. Martinez said that last year his office only investigated the deaths of 34 migrants.
He said that the Biden administration’s “rhetoric” regarding immigration is what caused the sudden increase of migrant deaths, the news outlet reported.
“You can only suspect, or assume that because of the rhetoric that the administration is putting out there that they can come in, they’re gonna come in,” he said.
The New York Times earlier this month reported that as the number of migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico has increased, border patrol officials have discovered the highest number of migrant deaths in almost a decade. Since the month of July, officials have reported 383 deaths, compared to the 253 in the previous year.