Authorities find dozens of Ariz. immigrants stranded in desert
By CHRIS KAHN
TONOPAH, Ariz.- About 75 illegal immigrants were found Tuesday in the desert about 50 miles west of Phoenix, many suffering from dehydration and exhaustion from triple-digit heat, authorities said.
Lt. Chuck Siemens, who was in charge of the search, estimated late Tuesday that fewer than 20 people were still in the desert.
The immigrants told authorities that three people had died in the desert, but the search hasn't turned up any bodies, authorities said.
Investigators suspect that the immigrants were left in the location until smugglers could arrange transportation for them to be taken elsewhere, Arpaio said.
Siemens said some of the immigrants said they hadn't had water since Sunday. "We passed out water bottles and it was a frenzy," he said.
Federal officials said groups of illegal immigrants have been found in that part of the county before.
Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, is Arizona's most populous county.
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