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14 illegal immigrants found dead in Arizona

YUMA, Arizona (CNN) -- The bodies of two more illegal immigrants were found Thursday in a rugged area of Arizona along the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing the death toll to 14 from a group of 28 who have died of heat exposure as they tried to enter the United States.

U.S. authorities continued to search for two other missing immigrants.

Earlier, another man was found alive and taken with 11 other illegal immigrants to a hospital at Yuma Regional Medical Center. One is in critical condition, the U.S. Border Patrol said.

Agent Cyril Atherton said all of them were men.

"Border Patrol [agents] apprehended several individuals who stated they had been part of a larger group who had been smuggled across the border," said Border Patrol spokeswoman Karen Kraushaar. "They're trying to determine where the rest are."


Kraushaar said the survivors gave agents "a pretty good idea" of where the others might have gone.

The immigrants, all of them Mexican nationals, were found in the mountainous San Cristobal Valley on Wednesday afternoon, she said. Eleven were found dead, and another died after being brought to the hospital.

Atherton said they died of heat exposure and lack of water.

Kraushaar said this type of smuggling is happening with increasing frequency. Smugglers gain people's trust and then promise to take them across the border for a fee.

The smugglers promise that safety will be just a short walk from the drop-off point, when in fact the immigrants are dropped off in the wilderness to face treacherous conditions, Kraushaar said.

Temperatures in Yuma reached a high Wednesday of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (about 43 degrees Celsius), the National Weather Service said.

• Immigration and Naturalization Service
• The National Immigration Forum

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