Researchers overcoming major hurdles, working to identify human remains on border


BORDER TEAM -- It’s an international effort to bring closure to families who have lost loved ones.

The Rio Grande Identification Project has spent three years trying to identify all the undocumented immigrants who have died in search of a better life in America.

Just passed the last Border Patrol checkpoint is a town 80 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border.

Falfurrias was in the national spotlight around three years ago where hundreds of unidentified human remains were exhumed from a public cemetery, the graves of the unknown.


John and Jane Does, placed in plastic bags, unlawfully buried and without notifying their loved ones they had died. It’s what prompted the South Texas Human Rights Center to open its doors in Falfurrias, and why director Eddie Canales takes a handful of distress calls every day since 2013.

“The hardest part is finding where they are,” he said.

Canales said more undocumented immigrants are dying out in the ranches than last year. A problem that has put pressure on organizations like his.

“There’s no systematic effort to try to recover remains or bodies,” Canales said.

Read the entire story and view news video, Lost Souls Along the Border: