7-year-old migrant girl dies, family disputes officials' story


    FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016, file photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent patrols Sunland Park along the U.S.-Mexico border next to Ciudad Juarez. A 7-year-old girl who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her father, died after being taken into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol, federal immigration authorities confirmed Thursday, Dec. 13. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

    5:20 p.m.

    Lawyers for the family of a 7-year-old girl who died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody say she did not suffer from a lack of food or water before being picked up by authorities.

    Their account disputes earlier information released by U.S. officials, who said the girl had not had anything to eat or drink for days.

    Border Patrol officials did not immediately comment Saturday.

    Jakelin Caal and her father were taken into custody Dec. 6 near Lordsburg, New Mexico, by Border Patrol agents. She began vomiting and later stopped breathing while being transported to a Border Patrol station. She died at a hospital.

    A statement from the family's lawyers says her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz, made sure his daughter had food and water as they traveled through Mexico.

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    12:30 p.m.

    The U.S. Border Patrol says a 7-year-old girl who died while she was in custody appeared to be in good health when she was first detained along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border.

    An intake form signed by the girl's father said she wasn't sick, wasn't sweating and seemed mentally alert. The form was obtained by The Associated Press.

    Immigration officials briefing reporters say the girl's father told officials that she was sick and vomiting when they were on a bus heading to a Border Patrol station. When they arrived 90 minutes later, the girl wasn't breathing.

    Emergency personnel revived her twice, and she was sent to an El Paso hospital via helicopter at 7:40 a.m. She died Dec. 8. An autopsy is pending.

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    10:45 a.m.

    An official with Guatemala's foreign ministry has identified the 7-year-old migrant girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody as Jackeline Caal.

    The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to share information. The official also identified the girl's 29-year-old father as Nery Caal.

    The foreign ministry said Friday that the girl and her father were from an area in northern Guatemala called Raxruha in Alta Verapaz department.

    The ministry says that according to information provided, the girl and her father were detained by Border Patrol on the night of Dec. 6. While they were being transported to the Border Patrol station in Lordsburg, New Mexico, the girl was feverish and vomiting.

    Early Dec. 8, Guatemalan officials were told the girl had died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

    — By Sonia Perez D.

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    8:40 a.m.

    Immigration officials say an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death of a 7-year-old migrant girl who suffered seizures in custody and later died.

    Officials say the girl was found Dec. 6 near Lordsburg, New Mexico, by U.S. Border Patrol agents. They say the girl was taken into custody for about eight hours and then began having seizures.

    Emergency medical technicians discovered her fever was 105.7 degrees Fahrenheit (40.9 degrees Celsius). The Guatemalan girl was airlifted to an El Paso, Texas, hospital, where she died.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Friday the girl was traveling with her father, fixing an error in an earlier statement that said she was unaccompanied. The Washington Post reported Thursday she had been traveling with her father, citing the same federal agency.

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