California

4-year-old girl abandoned in Southern California desert by smugglers

A 4-year-old girl was located early Monday in the middle of “a vast desert” in Southern California after being abandoned by a group of smugglers.

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The girl was with a group near the U.S.-Mexico border, NBC San Diego reported. When border agents moved in on the group, the smugglers reportedly jumped into a car and sped off.

The child was left behind holding her birth certificate, which showed she was from Guatemala. She reportedly was in good condition and was provided food.

“Who in their right mind abandons a four-year-old little girl in the middle of a vast desert,” one U.S. Customers and Border Protection agent said in a statement. “It sickens me to think that someone would leave a child that young to fend for herself.”

The report said the child is with health and Human Services and will attend an immigration status disposition.