TUCSON, AZ: On Sunday, May 5th, No More Deaths launched a search and rescue mission in the West Desert outside of Ajo, AZ, resulting in the ultimate recovery of four sets of human remains. The remains were encountered in the Growler Valley, the same valley in which Dr. Scott Warren was issued as citation for leaving water in summer 2017. Dr. Warren has been on trial the past two days and continuing into today for charges related to that incident
The search and rescue was launched in response to a call that came through the No More Deaths Missing Migrant Hotline after family members calling the hotline asked for support in urging Border Patrol’s Search and Rescue arm to initiate a rescue operation and CBP refused to mobilize resources. The first day of the search resulted in the team encountering a set of skeletal human remains that had been found and reported to the Pima County Sheriff in December 2017 by the Armadillos del Desierto, a San Diego based search and rescue organization. The Sheriff never recovered the body. The second day of the search, volunteers found three more sets of remains within a few miles of a newly installed rescue beacon.
The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, where the remains were recovered, is one of the deadliest migration corridors of the US/Mexico borderlands. The Refuge does not grant No More Deaths and others humanitarian groups access to administrative roads, even in emergency situations. Search groups must embark on foot from the edge of the wilderness boundary – greatly diminishing response time and scope.
Dr. Warren has testified in court to his spiritual beliefs that compel him to provide humanitarian aid on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge The discovery of four sets of remains in two days confirmed Warren’s testimony that “the Growler Valley is the area of highest and most need.
The No More Deaths abuse documentation team is investigating systemic governmental inaction to reported emergencies from distressed migrants in the desert. The findings will be published in Part III of The Disappeared report later this year.
The remains from the past two days have been reported to the Pima County Sheriff. The missing person has not been found.
Note: The image above reflects remains recovered in April of 2019 and does not include data about the individuals mentioned in this article.