Body of 7-year-old Indian girl found in Arizona desert

A topographic map of the Quitobaquito Springs area

A topographic map of the Quitobaquito Springs area

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says an Indian child was found dead in the desert near Lukeville on Thursday morning. They were traveling through Mexico when human smugglers ordered them to cross the border in a "dangerous and austere location".

Authorities said the unidentified girl was trying to cross into the United States with a group of people from her country.

"Agents took the two women into custody and began searching the area north of the worldwide border in remote terrain seven miles west of Quitobaquito Springs", the agency said in a statement cited by the USA media.

The area is reportedly "rugged desert wilderness with few backcountry roads and little to no resources".

After the girl's remains were recovered a few hundred yards south of the worldwide boundary, an air and ground search ensued for the other migrants.

The pair was transported to a hospital for treatment for dehydration.

Late Wednesday night, ground units discovered footprints that indicated the other two migrants likely crossed back into Mexico. Based on the information from the women, they believe the girl was 7 years old, and also from India.

"Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family", Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal was quoted as saying by CNN.

Customs and Border Protection agents along with Mexican authorities are searching both sides of the border for anyone associated with the group.

Reports of deaths of migrants during the journey across the border have surged in recent weeks - though they get far less attention than deaths that occur of migrants in USA custody.

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