A pair of teenage cousins from Guatemala who left home to escape poverty are among the 53 victims of the deadly migrant truck horror in Texas, according to reports.
The grief-stricken mom of one boy — Pascual Melvin Guachiac Sipac — said a member of the country’s congress called her Wednesday and said her son’s body was among those found in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer after it was abandoned in a remote area of San Antonio, the Washington Post said.
Maria Sipac Coj said Pascual left their home in Sololá 15 days earlier to live with his dad in Houston.
“He was so excited to be with his father again,” she said through tears.
The heartbroken mother still has her son’s final message stored on her phone, according to the Washington Post.
“Mom, today they are taking me in a trailer,” it says.
Pascual’s cousin and traveling companion, Juan Wilmer Tulul Tepaz, was also among the victims of the deadliest migrant-smuggling incident in US history.
Pascual’s mom was quoted in Guatemalan media as saying the boys left to escape poverty in their hometown, where the residents speak the Mayan language K’iche’, according to Reuters.
Juan was 13 and Pascual was reported to be either 13 or 14.
Both boys told their families Monday that they were headed to San Antonio, Reuters said, citing local media.
Two young sisters from Guatemala, Carla and Griselda Carac Tambriz, were previously identified as among the victims.
US Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Reuters that the doomed migrants are believed to have crossed the US border and stayed in a “stash house” before Monday’s deadly incident, which came to light after the truck apparently broke down.
Cuellar, whose district covers part of San Antonio, also confirmed a report that alleged truck driver Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, was “very high on meth” when he was busted in a field nearby, saying law enforcement reported that the powerful stimulant was found in his system.
A Customs and Border Protection official also told Reuters that Zamorano — who faces a federal human smuggling charge that carries the death penalty — had methamphetamine in his system.