SAN ANTONIO – Officials now believe more than 100 people were packed into a sweltering trailer that ultimately killed 9 people early Sunday morning.
With only 39 people found at the scene of a horrific human smuggling case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is urging the other victims to seek immediate medical attention.
"Based on initial interviews with survivors of the weekend tragedy, more than 100 people may have been packed into the back of the 18-wheeler at some point in its journey," ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said.
Police said a Walmart employee called police after a disoriented man who was standing near a parked 18-wheeler asked him for water. When authorities arrived, they found eight dead and 31 others.
“Checking the video from the store, we found a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer (who) survived the trip," San Antonio Police Department chief William McManus said.
A spokesperson for SAPD said 17 patients were transported priority 1 status (life threatening injury/illness) and 13 others were taken to area hospitals with priority 2 status (not immediately life-threatening).
ICE announced a ninth person had died at a local hospital Sunday afternoon.
James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, is in federal custody for his alleged involvement in the human trafficking case. He is facing both state and federal charges.
Federal officials said they will file a criminal complaint against Bradley in a San Antonio federal court on Monday morning.
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