Posted on December 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM
SUNLAND PARK -- A toddler found by border patrol agents in the desert was reunited with his mother Wednesday evening.
A border patrol agent went to the area near Sunland Park Saturday night after a ground sensor near the border went off. There the agent found the toddler and a man in his early-to-mid 20s.
When he approached, the man said he was the boy's uncle and ran into Mexico, leaving the boy behind. Authorities suspect he’s a smuggler.
The Border Patrol turned the boy over to the Sunland Park Police Department.
“He’s a healthy two-year-old boy is what they’re telling me, “ Jaime Reyes with Sunland Park police told local television station KVIA at the time.
Reyes described the toddler as “very talkative, wearing clean clothes," but said, “We’re not sure he belongs in Mexico or is a U.S. citizen.”
After the Sunland Park Police Department posted the child’s photo on the department’s Facebook page, several people called claiming they are relatives, including a woman who said she’s the boy’s grandmother.
The area where the boy was abandoned is used by smugglers and his case highlights the risks some undocumented parents take to be reunited with their children.
Some of those smugglers abandon the kids or criminal organizations that control smuggling routes hold them for ransom.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, 13,974 "unaccompanied minors" from Mexico were apprehended in 2012.