My heart sank when I saw this headline.
It sank right down through my chest into the deep well of sorrow that bottoms out in my belly.
It continued to beat down there, but it felt fainter. It felt less like it was pumping life through my now-cold fingers and more like it was weeping in soft throbs.
A different sensation—a very different sensation—from when I was hiking in that Arizona desert six weeks ago, volunteering with No More Deaths, combing thorny hillsides in search of human bones. In the heat and dust and sweat of that day I was all nerves. My tense limbs were like bundled kindling; when I saw the glint of white teeth in the dirt my body was was primed to explode.
A heart exploding is the opposite of a heart sinking.
Both times, though, whether I saw the bones myself or simply read about them, the sudden presence of death hit me hard in the heart.
Multiple remains recovered this week
MAY 8, 2019
No More Deaths release
TUCSON, AZ: On Sunday, May 5th, No More Deaths launched a search and rescue mission in the West Desert outside of Ajo, AZ, resulting in the ultimate recovery of four sets of human remains. The remains were encountered in the Growler Valley, the same valley in which Dr. Scott Warren was issued as citation for leaving water in summer 2017. Dr. Warren has been on trial the past two days and continuing into today for charges related to that incident
The search and rescue was launched in response to a call that came through the No More Deaths Missing Migrant Hotline after family members calling the hotline asked for support in urging Border Patrol’s Search and Rescue arm to initiate a rescue operation and CBP refused to mobilize resources. The first day of the search resulted in the team encountering a set of skeletal human remains that had been found and reported to the Pima County Sheriff in December 2017 by the Armadillos del Desierto, a San Diego based search and rescue organization. The Sheriff never recovered the body. The second day of the search, volunteers found three more sets of remains within a few miles of a newly installed rescue beacon.