A frantic 911 call prompted federal and San Antonio area officials to search for an 18-wheeled vehicle that could have dozens of migrants trapped behind its back.
A man called 911 around 10 p.m. Monday, explaining to the dispatcher in Spanish that he was trapped and in danger, CBS reported.
“We need help,” the caller says as screams and tears are heard in the background, according to the outlet. He goes on to tell the dispatcher “we are dying” and “we are out of oxygen”.
The call comes just after the man told the dispatcher that there were 80 people – who officials believe to be undocumented migrants – in the truck, CBS reported. But he calls back quickly.
“We don’t see anything, we are inside a tank truck,” the man said, adding that he thought the truck was parked by the side of the road “because cars are passing”, according to the report. the point of sale.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office followed the cell phone signal and determined that the truck may be on I-35, KENS reported.
Surveillance video from a Van Ormy company shows a white tanker following a black van before pulling over over its shoulder, the outlet reported. Sheriff Javier Salazar believes it could be the truck officers are looking for.
“This truck could be here locally, or it could be in another part of the country now. We just don’t know, ”Salazar told KENS.
The truck was filmed near the area from which the phone call originated, KABB reported.
Salazar added that the call was disturbing.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear because clearly behind the caller in the background you can hear the others in the car, in the trailer and they are also shouting for help in Spanish and saying they are running out of money. ‘air,’ Salazar told KABB. .
The Sheriff’s Department, San Antonio Police, Department of Homeland Security and the agency’s investigative team are asking anyone who may have information to come forward, KABB reported.
In a statement to KENS, Homeland Security Investigations said it was “investigating an incident with local law enforcement partners regarding a possible human trafficking event. No further details can be released for the moment because the case is still in progress. “
Salazar said that the smugglers could not be relied on to do the right thing.
“I bet a lot of money, that if the smugglers meet someone in the back of this trailer who is very, very sick, due to the conditions to which they were exposed or even died,” he said. at KABB. “They’re not going to do the right thing, they’re going to throw a body away or they’re going to abandon someone in a hospital, maybe.” They are certainly not going to do the right thing so we let our assistants know that they are on the lookout for anything. “
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homeland Security anonymous hotline at 866-347-2423.