Man dies on Otay Mountain; alleged smuggler arrested

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DULZURA — A 23-year-old man is behind bars for allegedly smuggling seven Mexican nationals into the U.S. through the Otay Mountain area, resulting in the death of one of the members of the group, according to a news release from the U.S. Border Patrol agency.

On Monday evening, officials in Mexico notified the U.S. Border Patrol they had received information from a woman who stated she was lost north of the border on Otay Mountain and her husband was very ill and suffering from dehydration, reports said.

According to the news release, Border Patrol agents, along with the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team and CBP Air and Marine Operations, launched a search for the missing couple. Agents located the woman, a 22-year-old Mexican national, about two miles north of the border at about 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday. At about 8 a.m., a Border Patrol K-9 team found the deceased body of the woman’s husband, a 35-year-old Mexican national, near the area where the woman was located.

After an investigation, agents linked the couple to a group of six Mexican nationals who were previously apprehended about five miles north of the border near Dulzura. Agents were able to identify the smuggler from within the group, and he was charged for suspicion of human smuggling, said the report.

“Due to this tragic result, the smuggler should face the highest consequences,” said Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Boone Smith in the news release.