Crosses built by inmates to mark bodies found in desert - FOX 35 News Orlando

Crosses built by inmates to mark bodies found in desert

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GILA BEND, Ariz. -

Inmates jailed in Maricopa County jails have been busy at work the last few months making hundreds of white wooden crosses that will mark the final resting place of border crossers who succumbed to the desert heat.

Not only that, but the crosses will have the ability to help other border crossers escape the same fate. They will be numbered and GPS sensitive, allowing immigrants to call 911 for help.

Deputies will begin placing crosses soon. The sheriff hopes that a landscape littered with crosses will make for a dramatic deterrent.

"Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies have investigated 14 deaths since June in and around Gila Bend, an area known for human trafficking. Desert crossers are dying in unknown numbers due to the desert's brutal conditions and excessively high temperatures," said Arpaio. "In addition to 14 dead, over 30 individuals have been rescued from the same area this summer."

Earlier this week, deputies found another four bodies near Gila Bend. And two men were rescued this week as well, both suffering from heat-related illnesses.

"Every life is precious," added Arpaio. "It is our duty to preserve the peace and protect the public, no matter their national status or citizenry."

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