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The Latest: Doctor: Migrant child’s death preventable

March 29, 2019

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the autopsy of a 7-year-old girl who died in Border Patrol custody (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics says the death of a 7-year-old girl in Border Patrol custody could likely have been prevented with better medical treatment.

Dr. Colleen Kraft said an autopsy report released Friday on the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin shows the Guatemalan child contracted an infection with initially subtle symptoms before she began vomiting and experiencing a severe fever.

Kraft says a trained professional would have caught possible signs like an elevated heartbeat or pulse.

She calls Jakelin’s death a “perfect storm” of circumstances that include the surging numbers of children crossing the border, a lack of appropriate government facilities, and not enough border agents with training.

CBP did not comment on the report’s release Friday.

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2:25 p.m.

An autopsy has found that a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of a bacterial infection while detained by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The El Paso County Medical Examiner’s office released a report Friday of its findings in the death of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin. Jakelin died Dec. 8, just over a day after she was apprehended by Border Patrol agents with her father.

The medical examiner says it found traces of streptococcus bacteria in Jakelin’s lungs, adrenal gland, liver, and spleen. The autopsy says Jakelin faced a “rapidly progressive infection” that led to the failure of multiple organs.

Jakelin was one of two children to die in Border Patrol custody, raising questions about the agency’s medical practices as it faces a surge in migrant families crossing the southern border.