Driver arrested after eight found dead in truck in Walmart auto park

24 July, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • DS    
   BODIES FOUND Police discovered at least 50 people inside the truck

The US Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation into what happened.

"We're looking at a human-trafficking crime here", he said. Hood also said that some of those with injuries related to heat stroke may result in brain damage, CNN reported. He said police had already combed the area for them and would continue their search on Sunday.

McManus said first responders found 38 people inside the 18-wheeler's trailer, with the possibility of several others fleeing to nearby woods before they arrived at the scene.

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Officials said the truck driver was arrested.

Police have not confirmed the victims' country of origin, destination or exact ages, but San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said "we're looking at a human-trafficking crime" and that numerous victims were in their 20s or 30s, in addition to two school-age children.

San Antonio-based U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin Jr. says those responsible for the deaths of eight people inside a sweltering tractor-trailer truck outside a San Antonio Walmart store are "ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo".

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"Checking the video from the store, we found a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer, that survived the trip", McManus said.

In addition to 9 people dead, 30 others were crammed into the rig as midsummer Texas temperatures flared to over 100 degrees Saturday in San Antonio and didn't dip below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m.; moreover, the air conditioning system did not work, officials said. The high in San Antonio had reached 101 degrees (38 Celsius) on Saturday. The organization also notes that many migrants are abused during the smuggling process and made to endure severe conditions, or even die.

In 2003, nineteen immigrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer in Texas. Prosecutors said the driver heard them begging and screaming for their lives but refused to free them. On July 7, agents found 72 people crammed into a truck with no means of escape, the agency said. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison after multiple life sentences were overturned. They were from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.

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Fifteen years ago in Denison, authorities discovered 11 decomposed bodies in a grain hopper vehicle.

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