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A truck driver could be facing homicide charges after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found a body inside the truck three days after it was impounded.
Truck Driver Arrested, One Undocumented Person Recovered, During Initial Border Stop
According to a statement from Border Patrol, a tractor trailer was stopped at the Falfurrias Checkpoint on U.S. 281 near McAllen, Texas, on Tuesday, October 3rd. At that time the truck was impounded after Border Patrol agents discovered an undocumented immigrant hidden inside of a compartment during a secondary inspection.
— KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) October 7, 2017
The truck driver and the undocumented immigrant were both taken into police custody.
Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez says that no immediate further investigation was conducted after the truck was impounded.
Buzzards, Leaking Fluid, Prompt Authorities To Check Impounded Truck
However, on Friday, October 6, authorities became suspicious after they spotted an unknown fluid leaking from the truck in addition to buzzards flying over the vehicle.
Martinez says that he found the decomposing body of a 27 year old Mexican male underneath the bed area. He says that the man was lying in the fetal position and was wearing jeans and a blue shirt. Police say that the man had identification in his wallet and they were able to determine that he was Martin Arellano Gomez.
According to Martinez, “Because they even saw some buzzards flying over the truck, so that’s a big red flag. It’s just one of those issues that – I think that’s maybe the first time they deal with – so it’s hard, it was quite an impact on all of us.”
Investigators are working to determine the time and cause of Gomez’s death.
Police say that they are investigating the death of Gomez as a homicide. Martinez says that the driver of the truck could be charged with manslaughter or even criminally negligent homicide.
It isn’t clear why it took so long for the body to be discovered within the impounded truck. The Brooks County Sheriff’s Office will be aided in the investigation into the incident by ICE Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection.