Migrant death toll in San Antonio rises to 53, two men charged

Emergency teams responded to the parked vehicle at 18:00 local (23:00 GMT) on Monday. Photo Courtesy: Getty Images via BBC

(New York Daily News): The death toll has risen to 53 in the horrific case of migrants found packed into a truck in San Antonio on Monday.

The grisly tally had been 51, but two more people have died, officials said Wednesday

Two men have been charged in connection with the discovery that horrified even seasoned investigators.

Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao are facing counts of “possession of a weapon by an alien illegally in the United States,” according to the criminal complaints obtained by CNN. Authorities were able to locate them on Monday, just hours after dozens of people were found dead in a rig parked on the southwest side of the city, in between train tracks and a salvage yard.

Responding officers initially discovered 46 migrants dead in the back of the sweltering 18-wheeler truck. Another seven have since died at local hospitals. Nine more are receiving treatment.

Neither of the men, both Mexican citizens who overstayed their visas, have been formally charged for the deaths nor the alleged human smuggling operations.

According to court documents, officers tracked the Texas registration plate of the semi-truck to a residence in San Antonio on Monday night. A search of the home turned up multiple firearms in the bedrooms of both D’Luna-Bilbao and D’Luna-Mendez, the documents read.

The men were subsequently arrested during separate traffic stops. Authorities said D’Luna-Bilbao had a gun in the center console of the truck at the time.

A third man was also previously taken into custody. He has not been identified nor has he been formally charged as of Wednesday morning.