Corpus Christi (KIII News) — Students from Texas State's Forensic Anthropology Center were in Falfurrias, Texas, Friday to exhume the remains of illegal immigrants whose bodies have not been identified.
"It's a very exhaustive effort," said Eduardo Canales, executive director of the South Texas Human Rights Center. "We take missing persons reports for the Sheriff's Department, you know. Also, we've handled over 60 reports a month. That's 15 calls a week."
According to Canales, the collaboration of the various organizations will help create an example for other areas on how to identify the migrants who have gone missing.
"Brooks County becomes the model in terms of us establishing the best practices, best protocols, cooperation from the Sheriff's Department, the county judge was here with us," Canales said. "All these people are part of the puzzle in terms of identifying the unidentified."
The forensic teams unearthed four sites at the Falfurrias Cemetary using specialized equipment to determine exact locations.
"There's no records of where people were buried, you know, so we're going on, you know, the groundskeeper saying 'Well I buried three here and there might be three over there,'" Canales said.
Once exhumed, the bodies will be taken to Texas State University where they will be processed and then the DNA will be taken to reunite them with their loved ones. The process could take months, but Canales said it is the humane thing to do.
"Families are searching for them," Canales said.