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9-year-old girl drowns attempting to cross Rio Grande

9-year-old girl drowns attempting to cross Rio Grande
A Guatemalan woman and her two children, both Mexican nationals, were found unresponsive on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande on March 20. The oldest child died. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

March 26 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old girl from Mexico drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande with her family to reach the United States last week, federal officials said.

Customs and Border Patrol said Thursday that agents discovered the girl with her mother and 3-year-old brother unresponsive on the Mexican side of the river March 20. Agents administered first aid to the family, and the woman and boy regained consciousness.

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The agents transferred the girl to the care of the Eagle Pass Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services in Texas. She was pronounced dead.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this small child," said Del Rio sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II. "During these hard times our agents remain resilient, and I am extremely proud of their efforts to preserve human life."

While the CBP release didn't reveal the girl's cause of death, Lt. Jason Mares with the fire department told NBC News, "it was considered a drowning." The New York Times also confirmed the cause of death.

The woman was a Guatemalan national, while the two children were from Mexico.

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The child's death comes amid an influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, including thousands of unaccompanied minors.

In February, CBP apprehended or deemed inadmissible some 100,000 people, up from 78,000 in January and up from about 76,000 the same month in 2020.

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