Distraught over the separation from his wife and child, an immigrant from Honduras killed himself in a Texas jail cell.
Marco Antonio Munoz, who was thirty-nine-years-old at the time, has not been publicly declared dead by the Department of Homeland Security. But, the Washington Post found a copy of a report from the sheriff’s department detailing that Munoz was found on May 13 in his Texas cell. He was lying in a pool of his own blood with a piece of clothing tied around his neck.
According to the Starr County sheriff’s deputies report, it was labeled a “suicide in custody.”
Border Patrol agents said that Munoz, his wife, and their three-year-old son crossed the Rio Grande near Granjeno, Texas on May 12. The region is a popular place for Central American people to turn themselves in and apply for asylum in the US, which is exactly what Munoz and his family did.
They were taken into custody nearby McAllen and Munoz said that he and his family wished to apply for asylum. But, the border patrol agents said that the family would be separated. Munoz was extremely upset and refused to be separated from his family.
According to an anonymous agent, “The guy lost his s***…they had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
After being put in a chain-link detention cell, he started punching the cell and shaking the chain-link wall. Border Patrol considered him to be “pre-assault” so they transferred him to a more secure cell at the Starr County Jail which was forty miles away.
He tried to escape during transfer and “yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail.”
The sheriff’s department report said that Munoz was booked at 9:40 pm and was placed in a padded isolation cell due to his continued agitation.
Guards checked on Munoz every thirty minutes and saw him praying in a corner of his cell in the morning.
A little more than twelve hours after being booked, at 9:50 a.m., Munoz was found on the floor of his cell.
The tragedy is yet another side effect of the Trump Administration’s treatment of immigrants and immigrant families.
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