After she was apprehended nine miles west of Hidalgo, Texas, in March 2018, Cordova-Valle spent about 45 hours in CBP custody before being transported to the custody of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
In a statement Thursday, Weber said the 10-year-old girl had a history of congenital heart defects. He said the child had surgery complications that had left her in a comatose state. She was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, where she died due to fever and respiratory distress on September 29, according to Weber.
When asked by CNN why HHS had not announced the death in September, Weber said they had prepared a statement at the time but that reporting requirements include notifying “appropriate officials” and “media is not part of the list.”
Since December, five children are known to have died after arriving at the US border from Guatemala. Two young children died weeks apart in December in government custody, spurring congressional hearings on the matter.
Homeland Security and CBP officials announced a series of new procedures following the deaths of the two children, including secondary medical checks on all children with a focus those under age 10.