16-Year-Old Unaccompanied Migrant Boy Dies While in Custody of the U.S. Government

Ra'eesah Manack
May 02, 2019
02:05 P.M.
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An unidentified, unaccompanied boy died after days in intensive care at a children's hospital in Texas. The boy was only 16-years-old at the time of his death.


A 16-year-old unaccompanied migrant died in Texas. Officials revealed he was in the custody of the U.S. government on Wednesday.

The boy died on Tuesday after "several days of intensive care" at a children's hospital said the Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Evelyn Stauffer in a statement. BuzzFeed News broke the news of the boy's death.


The boy was transferred on April 20 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Office of Refugee Resettlement is part of the Department of Health and Human Services that house migrant children.

The boy was examined and "No health concerns were observed." Stauffer went on to say that "the minor did not note any health concerns."


The next morning, the teen "became noticeably ill." He presented with symptoms "including fever, chills and a headache." 

The boy died on Tuesday after "several days of intensive care."

According to a statement, shelter personnel brought the child to a hospital emergency room that morning. He was treated and released to the shelter that same day.


Unfortunately, the boy's health did not improve. He was taken by ambulance to another hospital emergency room the next day.

"Later that day the minor was transferred to a children’s hospital in Texas and was treated for several days in the hospital’s intensive care unit," she said. "Following several days of intensive care, the minor passed away at the hospital on April 30, 2019."


Stauffer said arrangements were made for the boy's brother and Guatemalan consular officials to visit him while he was in the hospital. She added that his family received updates from the hospital staff.

The cause of death is currently under review. A statement also revealed that the incident is also being investigated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The boy's death comes after the high-profile deaths of two children, 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo Gomez, and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, in U.S. Border Patrol custody in December. There were also reports of a stillbirth in ICE custody in February.