CALEXICO, Calif. - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents found a four-year-old girl abandoned by smugglers near international border on Sunday morning.
Authorities said they saw individuals trying to enter the U.S. illegally near Mt. Signal at about 6:20 a.m. When agents responded, one person was seen returning to Mexico, then enter a vehicle that quickly left the area. Agents said they also saw a small child standing alone in the same area on a patrol road on the U.S. side.
Agents ensured the child was in good health and found a birth certificate in her possession and information about the location of the girl's parents. The child was taken to the El Centro station where she was given food, according to the Border Patrol's release.
After interviewing the girl, agents looked at her documents and verified she was a citizen of Guatemala.
"Who in their right mind abandons a four-year-old little girl in the middle of a vast desert," Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim said. "It sickens me to think that someone would leave a child that young to fend for herself."
Authorities said the U.S. Border Patrol constantly reinforces the message that parents who illegally try to smuggle their children into the U.S. should be aware that they are putting the lives of their children in the hands of criminals.
The child was handed over to Health and Human Services to await her immigration status disposition.