Human smugglers abandoned a four-year-old girl after being spotted by border agents near border town Mt. Signal, Calif., early Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday.
"Who in their right mind abandons a four-year-old little girl in the middle of a vast desert?" Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim said in a statement. "It sickens me to think that someone would leave a child that young to fend for herself."
Border Patrol agents from the El Centro Sector station in southern California witnessed a group of people illegally cross into the U.S. around 6:20 a.m. local time Sunday. One person was seen turning back and crossing back into Mexico, where the individual boarded a vehicle and left.
Agents reported seeing a small child standing alone in the same area where the group had crossed into California and approached the girl. The unnamed child was found to be in good health and was not in need of medical attention.
The girl possessed a Guatemalan birth certificate and information about her parents, which allowed agents to learn preliminary information about her. She was driven back to the El Centro station and given a meal. She was later turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services until her immigration status disposition takes place.
CBP did not disclose what happened to the other alleged illegal immigrants and smugglers after they crossed into the U.S.