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Mass graves discovered ... Believed to contain the bodies of illegal immigrants

Published:Monday | June 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Mass graves have been discovered in a south Texas cemetery, and researchers believe they contain the bodies of immigrants who died crossing into the United States (US) illegally, according to published reports on the weekend.

The discovery at Sacred Heart Burial Park in Falfurrias came as part of a multi-year effort to identify immigrants who've died in the area near the US-Mexico border. The remote area is often deadly for immigrants from Mexico and Central America who set out on foot through ranchlands amid sweltering temperatures to avoid a nearby US Border Patrol checkpoint.

Anthropologists Lori Baker and Krista Latham and their students unearthed remains in trash bags, shopping bags, body bags or without a container at all, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times. In one burial, bones of three bodies were inside one body bag. In another, at least five people in body bags and smaller plastic bags were piled on top of each other.

Skulls also were found in biohazard bags placed between coffins.