June Fatality in Big Bend National Park
Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-1108
On Wednesday morning, June 15, 2011, a
Rangers and Border Patrol agents responded to provide care and search for the missing members of the group. A joint agency incident command was established as officers searched on foot, by truck and on horseback, and with aviation resources. Within three hours, two additional men were located. One of those was transported to the
The search resumed on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at 6:00 a.m. Using information obtained from interviewing the found men, the search was focused on a certain area where one of the group was found deceased. He had succumbed to severe dehydration and heat exposure. His remains were transferred to the coroner and then the Alpine Funeral Home. The Mexican Consulate was notified so they could assist with next-of-kin notification.
Further investigation revealed that the remaining missing person was their paid guide or “Coyote” who had abandoned the group early on and had made his way back across the border into
The summer months with high temperatures and the rough terrain of the park can combine to make the lower desert a very difficult environment for the unprepared, for those without adequate water and supplies, or for those trying to traverse the park illegally.
Big Bend National Park is saddened by the loss of life that occurred.The park wishes to thank the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as the DPS Aviation Unit, for their assistance with this incident.