Illegal border crossings through Southwestern ranches have been controversial and debated for years. Many Texas farmers and ranchers who live and work near the southern border experience property damages and the impacts of foreign nationals trespassing onto their land, but human deaths are always unsettling.
On Thursday, workers on a Bexar County ranch in Texas spotted a piece of luggage in the open while feeding livestock. According to multiple sources, the workers began investigating the bags and discovered what appeared to be human remains.
After contacting the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, the remains were confirmed as partial human remains. Although the cause of death and identity are still under investigation, Sheriff Javier Salazar told news sources that they are inclined to believe that the body was involved in a homicide.
“There really wasn’t a whole lot of effort to hide the body other than it was inside a suitcase,” Salazar said.
In the same area, burn spots were reportedly discovered. While the burn spots may or may not be connected, the fire marshal is expected to investigate.
Bexar County encompasses San Antonio and the surrounding areas near the border with Mexico.
Border crossing on ranchlands
Earlier this year, Texas ranchers testified at the Senate Committee on Border Security and the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, supporting bills that would help landowners with damage caused by illegal immigrants.
“We deal with damage caused by criminals and trespassers trying to escape law enforcement,” said John Paul Schuster, who is also president of Kinney-Val Verde County Farm Bureau. “To get away, criminals will often trespass onto agricultural land, causing damage to fencing and fields. Damages are also caused by trespassers on foot.”
Homes and barns are vandalized. Equipment and vehicles are stolen. Clothes, backpacks, other items and trash are left behind in the “camps” as illegal immigrants move through their property, leaving farmers and ranchers to clean up the mess.
“The crisis at the Texas-Mexico border is a real issue that is impacting my family and everyone farming, ranching, and living, not only along the border, but almost all parts of Texas, including West Texas,” said Warren Cude, District 6 State Director who raises sheep and cattle in Fort Stockton.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic