May 15, 2009

Family found smuggled teen dead

Authorities in Houston said a teenager smuggled into the country from Guatemala was found dead by family members arriving to greet him.

Police said the family members received a phone call at about 3 p.m. Thursday from a woman who said the 15-year-old was in the country and needed to be picked up at Arthur Storey Park in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

They were told that he was dehydrated and they needed to bring water, police Sgt. Colin Howard said.

Howard said the family was also told to bring an unspecified amount of money.

Police said the relatives discovered the teenager dead in the backseat of a Ford pickup truck at the location where they were told to meet the smugglers, who had fled the scene.

Investigators said the cause of death has not been determined. They said the pickup truck is registered to a local address but is not believed to be the vehicle used to smuggle the victim.