8 dead inside of 18 wheeler by San Antonio Walmart
Eight people were found dead Sunday morning inside an 18-wheeler parked outside of a San Antonio Walmart in what police called a horrific human trafficking case.
A total of 38 people had been inside the tractor-trailer, including two school-age children, authorities said. Twenty people were taken to area hospitals in critical condition, and another eight had “less critical” injuries.
"We’re looking at human trafficking crime here this evening,” Police Chief William McManus said, adding that it was "a horrific tragedy."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is also looking into the incident. The driver of the vehicle, who was not identified, has been taken into custody, according to Fox 29.
The vehicle did not have a working air conditioning system when it was found, authorities said. The National Weather Service said the temperature in San Antonio hit 101 degrees just before 5 p.m. Saturday and didn't dip below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m.
Authorities were first alerted by a store employee who called the police after being approached by someone from the truck who was asking for water.
“Late last night we got a call from a Walmart employee about a welfare check in a tractor-trailer that was parked in the lot here,” McManus said.
According to police, surveillance video from the store showed "a number of vehicles" picking up people who survived the trip that were inside the trailer.
Some people fled into the woods, and police will conduct another search in the morning, the chief said.
The origin of the truck is still unknown.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel will investigate after those needing medical attention have been treated, authorities said.
Re: 8 Bodies found in tractor-trailer in San Antonio Walmart
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Back about 20 years ago we found an abandoned U-Haul truck in the alley behind our house in Phoenix. The inside of the truck was full of evidence that it had been used for human trafficking.
I reported the truck to U-Haul and discovered it was a very common thing and he seemed unconcerned about the abandoned truck. Then I met a "gringo" who told me that he made "easy money" at $50 a head to drive rental trucks about 200 miles and leave them with another "gringo" driver who would continue on to another pre-arranged destination. My informant told me "gringo" drivers attracted little or no attention on highways.
This human smuggling relay system is probably still in use today and could probably be seriously hurt by CBP, ICE, DPS, and LE "if" it got public pressure and resources.